You have worked hard by planning for your success, let us help you preserve your legacy. Estate Planning is not just about creating a Will, it is a plan to manage your wealth and assets in such a way to accomplish your goals and wishes once you’re unable to do so.
In preparing your Estate Plan, I engage in a comprehensive approach. I get to know you and your family, I look into your assets and discuss with you your goals and wishes. Only after identifying what is most important to you am I able to construct a plan to care for those individuals or goals. I then work with you to draft the necessary documents to ensure that your goals and wishes are carried out.
An effective Estate Plan gives you piece of mind that your property and your loved ones are taken care of regardless of what may happen to you. Without an Estate Plan there may be uncertainty as to your wishes. Such uncertainty often creates conflict between your loved ones and causes costly, unnecessary delays.
Common Documents Prepared include:
- Wills a/k/a Last Will and Testament
- Living Will
- Power of Attorney a/k/a Durable Power of Attorney a/k/a Financial Power of Attorney
- Advanced Directive and DNR
- Health Care Power of Attorney
- Trusts – for example: Revocable Trust a/k/a Life Trust, Irrevocable Trust
- HIPAA Authorization
Estate Administration is the process of executing the goals and wishes of an Estate Plan, if one exists. If an Estate Plan does not exist, then the disposition of assets is governed by State Law. Whether or not a Will exists, the Estate Administration process is a Court Proceeding.
Whether you are the Executor/Executrix named in the will, an Administrator/Administratrix appointed by the Court or a Beneficiary, the process of Estate Administration can often seem daunting and intimidating. I am here to assist you in this process. I will explain the terms and procedures to you so that every decision made is a well-informed one.
I will help you make sure that assets are being disposed of in accordance with the decedent’s wishes and North Carolina’s Laws.
Common services provided include:
- Advising on the type of estate to open – yes there are options.
- Going to Court so that you don’t have to.
- Preparing the documents necessary to file with the court including the application to open the estate and all applicable inventory and accountings.
- Review the Will and advise as to its meaning and contents, submit the Will for Probate
- Handling creditors: including notices to them, required publications and negotiation of debt
- Managing Assets – locating and collecting assets and advising as to their proper distribution
- Distribution of assets to beneficiaries.
- Coordination with CPAs, Financial Planners, and other advisors with regard to estate administration matters.
- Advise heirs and other individuals of their rights under state law.
A common misconception about Estate Planning is that it only takes effect after passing. Trusts are a valuable tool that can add necessary protection and privacy to matters most important to you during your life and at death. Trusts allow for flexible planning because they can be structured to specify exactly when and how assets pass to beneficiaries and what events (including, but not limited to death, incapacity, reaching a specified age, marriage, birth, etc.) may trigger it into action. Therefore, a Trust makes it possible to plan for your own care as well as the care of your children, individuals with special needs, and pets.
Furthermore, a Trust provides increased privacy because it does not have to be filed as public record with the Court. Ultimately this may save you time and money. Depending on your assets and how they are titled, trusts can serve as a protective shield to maximize tax exemptions and significantly reduce tax liability.
Only a licensed attorney can establish a Trust. There are dozens of different types of trust that may be suitable for you based on your specific need and taxable considerations. I will work with you to evaluate those specific needs and advise you whether a Trust can meet these needs.
Common Trusts we prepare are:
- Revocable Trust a/k/a Living Trust
- Irrevocable Trust
- Special Needs Trust
- Pet Trusts
- Testamentary Trust
- Charitable Trust
- Asset Protection and Spendthrift Trust
Other Trust Services we provide:
- Advise the Beneficiaries as to the terms, purpose, and content of the Trust
- Trust Amendments, Revisions, Modifications
- Advise the Trustee concerning their powers, obligations and requirements in managing the Trust