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Greg Herman-Giddens is a problem solver and relishes the daily challenge to identify legal solutions for his clients. No matter what service he is providing, his top priority is always the best interests of the client. Greg offers a full array of estate planning and related services, including the creation of irrevocable trusts, estate, gift, fiduciary and individual income tax planning and compliance, taxation of deferred compensation, estate and trust administration, small business and nonprofit organization formation, trust modification and decanting, and trust protector services. He frequently is called upon to serve as an expert witness in trust and estate lawsuits.

Greg is a Certified Financial Planner™ and uses that knowledge to better serve his clients and those for whom he acts as a fiduciary. He’s also a regular speaker at continuing education programs for lawyers, paralegals, and financial planners. Greg is a Registered Trust and Estate Practitioner (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law (North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization).

Over his 30+ year career, Greg has received much recognition, including being honored as a North Carolina Super Lawyer in Estate Planning and Probate Law (2007, 2011, and 2017-2020) and named a "Top Lawyer" by Naples Illustrated magazine in 2020. He was also named one of North Carolina’s Legal Elite in Tax and Estate Planning (2007, 2011) and a Triangle Impact Financial Leader (Triangle Business Leader Magazine, 2008). He is a member of the 2018 North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society, is a recipient of the Pro Bono Publico Award from the New Hanover County Bar Association & Legal Aid of North Carolina Wilmington, and received the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2018.

Greg is admitted to practice in all Florida, New York, North Carolina, and Tennessee state courts, as well as in the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina. Greg is also qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales.

Greg’s leisure pursuits include running — he ran a 50-mile race to celebrate his 50th birthday — travel, and spending time with family. Before joining Henderson Franklin, Greg ran his own law firm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Miami, Florida and New York, New York.

Professional And Civic Affiliations

Greg is a member of the Florida Bar and its Senior Lawyers Committee, Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section, Tax Section and will lead its newly-formed Mental Project Project, as part of the Section's Mental Health and Wellness Initiative. He is also a member of the Lee County and Collier County Bar Associations, and is a member of the Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. Additionally, Greg is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and is a past president of both the Orange County (NC) Bar Association and the 18th Judicial District Bar.

Greg is a member of WealthCounsel, LLC. He serves on the Carolina Meadows Board of Directors in Chapel Hill, NC, is a member of the Membership Committee of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners ("STEP"), and is a pro bono panel member for North Carolina Center for Nonprofits. He previously served on the Board of Directors for the Chatham County Chamber of Commerce and Habitat for Humanity for Orange County. Greg is also a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.

As we happily turn the calendar to January 2021, many start gathering receipts and documents to prepare for tax season. If you serve or have been recently appointed as a Personal Representative, Executor or Administrator, there are some important income tax issues you should be aware of to avoid legal action from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), or lawsuits from the decedent’s beneficiaries. Below are some answers to a few frequently asked questions concerning estate tax filings:

Q: When is a decedent’s final tax return due?

When someone dies, their tax year ends as of the date of death. The Personal Representative (Executor or Administrator) is responsible for filing the final federal and state returns and ensuring that any tax due is paid. These returns are due April 15 of the year after the date of death. If someone dies before filing a return for the prior year, the Personal Representative must make sure that the return is filed and any taxes paid. The IRS is one creditor you don’t want to mess with, as they can hold a Personal Representative personally liable for unpaid taxes.

Q: What is a “Step-Up in Basis”?


Continue Reading 5 tax tips for those dealing with estates

Franchise and multilevel marketing (MLM) businesses are often attractive because they offer people the chance to start a small business with a well-known brand and an established business model. However, they present unique estate planning challenges than other types of small businesses because the rights and obligations of franchisees and multilevel marketers are spelled out in contractual agreements.

What Is a Franchise?

When you purchase a franchise, you are purchasing a unit from a company that is already established in a particular industry. As a franchisee, you are entitled to use the company’s business model, advertising resources, and products, and receive training and ongoing support from the company to enhance your chances for success. In return, you must adhere to specified business practices and standards. The cost of purchasing the franchise can be quite high, and there are typically also ongoing fees for support and royalty payments for the use of the brand name.

What Is an MLM Business?

In an MLM business, you benefit from having established products to sell and the use of the company’s advertising materials to promote them. You earn money by selling the company’s products and recruiting other sellers whose sales provide you with additional income. MLM businesses usually offer flexible schedules and do not require substantial initial costs, though the company may require a minimum monthly purchase of products. Those who have a large network of friends and acquaintances and are friendly and extroverted are more likely to succeed, as MLM businesses involve presentations of products to generate sales.

How Do These Business Types Impact My Estate Planning?


Continue Reading Estate Planning for Franchise and Multilevel Marketing Business Owners