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Firearms Collections in Probate

If a gun owner does not have a gun trust or other planning tool in place, their firearms become part of the probate estate upon their death. This could leave surviving family in a complex legal situation.
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QTIP Elections and Estate Taxes

Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) trusts are used to provide certain tax benefits to married couples while simultaneously preserving assets for children or other beneficiaries. A 2016 private letter ruling from the IRS provided some guidance regarding the IRS' position when processing estate tax returns making a QTIP election where such election is not necessary to avoid estate taxation.
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Monitoring an Executor’s Actions

Families sometimes contact our probate attorneys in Chapel Hill when they are concerned about an executor's actions—or inaction—and need to explore options for legal intervention. Executors have a fiduciary duty toward the estate that must be observed when carrying out their actions in administering the estate.
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Locate and Inventory Safe Deposit Boxes in North Carolina Estate Administration

One of an executor's duties is to inventory all of a decedent's assets, including those in a safe deposit box. Yet, in order to do so, the executor must know of the existence and location of the safe deposit box. In an increasingly digital world, executors and surviving family members face greater challenges identifying assets. How can one locate a safe deposit box during probate?
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Decanting an Irrevocable Trust in 3 Steps

While many factors, including life and regulatory changes may prompt a desire for trust modification, many folks believe they are trapped with the terms of an irrevocable trust. Fortunately, irrevocable trusts can be amended under certain circumstances. One option that might be available to allow a trustee to make an adjustment to a trust's terms is to decant the original trust.
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Downsides to Naming a Living Trust as IRA Beneficiary

Individuals may name a revocable living trust as the beneficiary of an IRA to enjoy additional control over how assets are distributed to trust beneficiaries. Although this method of structuring retirement assets is sometimes more advantageous than simply naming an individual as beneficiary of the account outright, particularly if the beneficiary is a minor or poses a spendthrift threat, if not structured properly it may jeopardize the opportunity for tax-deferred growth of the funds.
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