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Gregory Herman-Giddens

Gregory Herman-Giddens’s Answers

458 total


  • Can co-trustees of an NFA firearms trust be held liable for actions of other trustees?

    If NFA weapons which held in an NFA trust are used improperly by one trustee of the trust (or lost/stolen), can other trustees in the same trust be held civilly or criminally liable for that improper usage?

    Gregory’s Answer

    Possibly. It depends on whether the other trustees were negligent or culpable in any way. An example would be if they knew or should have known that the one trustee might use the weapons improperly or if the weapons were not properly safeguarded. That is one reason to have the NFA trust is drafted by an experienced attorney, as it can contain provisions to help ensure full compliance with the law and possible limitation of liability in some cases.

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  • As trustee of a QDOT, can I sell a property (QDOT asset) and purchase another property or properties? Are there other options?

    Mother (non-resident alien) established QDOT in 2007 to defer estate taxes due on FL-based property after passing of father (non-resident alien). As son, US citizen and trustee of QDOT I would like to, per my mother's wishes, sell property and wou...

    Gregory’s Answer

    In general, as trustee you are entitled to sell trust property and buy property in your name as trustee of the name with funds in the trust. You have a fiduciary duty to your mother and the other beneficiaries to ensure that investments are prudent. Real property can be tricky from this standpoint. I agree that you should consult with a knowledgeable trust attorney.

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  • Do you know any attorneys who can act as trustee for IRA accounts which buy, hold and sell real properties, tax liens and deeds?

    We have about $50K to invest in real properties and other related products. The funds would have to be transferred into this new SEP IRA directly, and would like to have the option of reinvesting the funds gained into additional projects.

    Gregory’s Answer

    federal law requires that IRA trustees/custodians must be financial institutions, and only certain financial institutions will serve as custodian of a self-directed IRA. The rules regarding self-directed IRAs are complex, and violation can have have severe consequences. I recommend consulting with an attorney familiar with self-directed IRAs to determine if what you wish to do is possible. Good luck!

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  • Rules regarding Trusts.

    I have head that a Trust had to have been created so many years before it is secure from creditors. Is this so here and how many years?

    Gregory’s Answer

    Under the law of Florida and most other states, one cannot create a trust (a self-settled trust) and continue to access the principal of the trust and have it be exempt from creditors' claims. However, many states now offer laws allowing such "domestic asset protection trusts" (DAPTs). DAPT laws do provide for a statute of limitations that must pass before the trust is protected from creditors. The shortest statute of limitations is 1.5 years for Ohio.

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  • When I apply for my FEIN through the IRS website, using the Federal EIN form, under Type of Entity, what should I select?

    I've formed an LLC in the state of Florida. I'm the only person in my business. On Line 9a of the FEIN form, under Type of Entity, should I select Sole proprietor, Corporation (enter form number to be filed), or Personal Service Corporation?

    Gregory’s Answer

    If you are the sole owner, your LLC would be a disregarded entity (sole proprietor). You report your income and expenses on Schedule C of your Form 1040.

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  • My wife has a green card and i am a citizen. Do we need to set up a legal trust?

    I have heard from others that if I die without having some form of legal trust, she could potentially lose half of our assets in probate court.

    Gregory’s Answer

    I believe the issue is related to estate taxes rather than probate fees. Non-citizen surviving spouses do not qualify for the unlimited estate tax marital deduction, so assets left to them in excess of the estate tax exemption (currently $5.43 million federal - NY has a lower exemption) are subject to immediate estate tax of 40% (federal). Assets left in a Qualified Domestic Trust are not subject to immediate tax - principal is taxed when distributed. Particularly if your assets exceed the current NY exemption of $3,125,000, it is very important to consult with a NY trust and estate attorney.

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  • Question about tax law and a deceased's estate.

    My mom died 6 months ago and I'm now having to file her final tax return and the tax return for her estate. She ended up putting everything into a living trust a few years ago, on the advice of a lawyer. I feel like that was a mistake for variou...

    Gregory’s Answer

    I agree that the returns should be done by a qualified CPA or tax attorney, but if the annuity was fully paid out prior to or after her death, it would likely account for most of the taxable income. The taxable amount should be reflected on the Form 1099-R issued by the annuity company.

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  • NFA Guntrust

    I created a revocable living trust I intend to use as a gun trust. There seems to be a lot of noise on the web that these sort of trusts are almost loopholes in allowing citizens to register class 3 firearms. My concern is what are the specifics t...

    Gregory’s Answer

    While a valid standard revocable living trust can be used to acquire and own Class 3 weapons, I recommend the use of a specialized gun trust created by a knowledgeable attorney. There are many features in a gun trust that are not contained in a standard trust that can help protected the grantor (you) and any others than might possess/use the weapons from committing a felony under federal law, with up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Not to mention potential violations of Florida law.

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  • I have a wife but i dont want her to inherit any wealth

    if i have a wife in another country but i become mentally incapacitated can she still take money from my personal bank account from here in the US?

    Gregory’s Answer

    If she has power of attorney or becomes your guardian, yes. She also may inherit the money upon your death. You should make sure any power of attorney in her favor is revoked, and execute a new power of attorney naming someone you trust, or perhaps use a revocable trust to hold the funds. Talk to a lawyer about how to protect your property otherwise during your life and after your death.

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  • Prepared my taxes this weekend and I owe $1800.00. Is there a way to get an extension on paying it back?

    I am already on a payment arrangement for an audit I had in 2012 so I know I can do another one, I don't want a payment plan just need a couple extra months to come up with the money.

    Gregory’s Answer

    Payment arrangements can only be made for past-due taxes. Your best bet is to borrow the money and make sure the taxes are paid in full before April 15 in order to avoid penalties and interest.

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