Durham

Diamond View II, Suite 130, 280 South Mangum Street, Durham, NC 27701

(919) 787-8880

Raleigh

3605 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 500, Raleigh, NC 27612

(919) 787-8880

To complete Manning Fulton’s online estate planning form click here .

1. Will my spouse have sufficient assets to meet her/his needs?
  Without a properly planned estate, it’s possible that your spouse will have one-third or less of your assets after your death. Manning Fulton can show you how to provide for your spouse by taking full advantage of the marital deduction including the use of a QTIP trust. This trust lets you direct who or how your children and grandchildren will enjoy what’s left after your spouse’s death.
2. Have I provided for the support, guidance and special needs of my children?
  Your children are precious to you. The law gives you the ability to designate the right guardian to teach and care for your children if you are no longer here. If you don’t make this choice, the Clerk of Superior Court will make the decision for you.

It’s also important to select a trustee who will consider your children’s long-term welfare. Do your children have any special physical or emotional needs that may affect the timing or receipt of their inheritance? After working with North Carolina clients for almost fifty years, Manning Fulton is experienced in the use of generation skipping trusts, educational trusts and special support trusts to address these issues.

3. How do I treat the children of my first marriage fairly while at the same time making sure that my surviving spouse will be taken care of during her/his lifetime?
  Non-tax objectives must be considered in planning all estates, but your divorce, remarriage or creation of a “blended” family creates unique planning considerations. Manning Fulton will help you identify the challenges and opportunities unique to these situations and guide you in structuring the ownership and inheritance of your assets.
4. How do I preserve or create family harmony after my death?
  We all know stories of inheritance feuds that destroy family relationships while unnecessarily wasting assets. A carefully planned estate promotes family harmony-through open communication and consideration of family members’ needs along with your planning objectives. Specific bequests of personal property items are one way to assure that family members were remembered. We have assisted many clients structure the ownership of critical family assets, including closely held businesses, in family limited partnerships or limited liability companies. The goal is to preserve or assign control of these assets to those family members who will look after the best interests of the entire family.
5. How can I minimize the taxes and administrative costs my estate will have to pay?
  Depending on the size of your estate, your death taxes could consume more than fifty percent of all your assets. Manning Fulton has three lawyers who started their careers with the Chief Counsel’s Office of the IRS, plus four who are also CPAs or have a college degree in accounting, and three who are certified specialists in estate planning and probate law. We know how to help you plan your estate to accomplish your objectives while minimizing taxes and administration costs.

We’ll help you understand family limited partnerships, charitable remainder trusts, how to minimize the generation skipping tax and how to get the most of the applicable estate tax credit. If a dispute with the IRS or other taxing authority arises, Manning Fulton will help you defend your position.

6. How do I avoid forced liquidation of my business or other assets to pay estate taxes?
  The future of the exemption amount is uncertain, so, Manning Fulton can structure the ownership of your business to defer or minimize estate taxes while keeping the business intact. We will also help you analyze the adequacy and availability of other assets to pay estate taxes.
7. How do I transfer business, real estate and other assets to the next generation in a way that’s perceived by my children as fair and equitable?
  You may want to leave business, real estate or other assets to a child who has demonstrated an interest or ability in managing or running these areas-but at the same time equalizing the amount received by your other children. We will help you accomplish this by planning for the continuation of your business and not leaving business interests to a beneficiary who has no interest in the future operation of the business.
8. How much life insurance do I need?
  Life insurance is just one tool used by the estate planner to accomplish your goals. Insurance premiums are paid by today’s dollars, so it is important to optimize your life insurance purchase.

Manning Fulton works with clients to define needs and make the most efficient use of their resources. We will help you understand the numerous life insurance products- whole life, universal life, term life, split-dollar insurance and endowment policies. Many clients are surprised to learn that life insurance proceeds generally are subject to estate taxes. Our lawyers can help you understand the impact of this and explain how an irrevocable life insurance trust can solve this problem.

9. What if I want to share part of my estate with a charity?
  Worthwhile charitable, educational and religious causes can re-invest your gifts in society to accomplish much good. There are many ways to structure these gifts. Manning Fulton lawyers can help you structure your gifts in ways to accomplish your objectives at the least cost to your family and help your favorite charities. Charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts and private charitable foundations are some of the vehicles we use.
10. What happens to my IRAs, stock options, retirement plans and annuities if something happens to me (and my spouse)?
  If you do not name primary and contingent beneficiaries as part of your estate plan, you may have no control over who receives the balance of your hard earned retirement dollars at your death. We can help you decide whether a trust should be the beneficiary of retirement funds to control the timing and distribution of assets to children. Retirement assets may also provide the most tax-effective way to leave a charitable legacy. Manning Fulton can also help you decide if it’s best for you to take a lump sum distribution, receive your benefits as an annuity or roll-over your retirement benefits to an IRA or another retirement plan. Your stock options are an important part of your estate-Manning Fulton can help you determine your rights, analyze the tax consequences and advise you on exercise procedures.

To get additional questions answered, please contact Stephen T. Byrd at 919.510.9260 or byrd@manningfulton.com. To learn more about our estate planning and wealth transfer or estate/trust administration practices, click here.

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