Orsbon & Fenninger, LLP

Estate Planning and Estate Administration

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July 2017 Archives

Tips for making beneficiary designations

Some North Carolina residents may have filled out beneficiary designations for their retirement account along with a lot of other new hire paperwork. They may not have carefully considered their choices, or it could be time to make changes to those designations. There are other assets, such as taxable brokerage accounts, that also are passed on with beneficiary designations. A person should take a number of things into account in choosing beneficiaries.

The benefits of irrevocable trusts

People in North Carolina have many options to choose from when deciding how they want to protect the assets they intend to leave to heirs. However, an irrevocable trust has benefits that are more ideal for some estate holders.

Choosing the right trustee

There are several factors North Carolina residents who are setting up a trust should consider when choosing a trustee. It is important to choose someone who agrees to be a fiduciary. A fiduciary has a legal obligation to look after the settlor's interests. It is also important for the person to have the right expertise. This includes knowledge of tax and investing, but additional specialized knowledge might be necessary as well depending on the nature of the trust. In these circumstances, multiple trustees with different areas of expertise might be appointed.

3 ways a power of attorney agent may abuse authority

Many North Carolina residents have likely heard at some point about the benefits of having a power of attorney document. This document allows you to appoint an individual to attend to your financial needs should you lose the ability to do so yourself. Because you legally put someone else in charge of your finances, you certainly hope that the person will act in a trustworthy and responsible manner.

Setting up a charitable trust

People in North Carolina can contribute to a charity as well as passing on assets to a beneficiary with a charitable split-interest trust. There are two types of charitable trusts. A charitable lead trust is set up to make donations to a charity on a regular basis for a set amount of time. When the time ends, the remaining assets go to a noncharitable beneficiary. A charitable remainder trust works in the opposite way in that it first pays out to a beneficiary over a certain period of time. Whatever remains at the end of that period then goes to the charity.