Estate Planning & Administration
Regardless of the size of the estate, it is crucial that you plan for the future, both for yourself and your heirs. Failure to plan adequately may result in significant costs to your heirs, and an unintended transfer of assets. In North Carolina, if an individual dies without a Will, the State will dictate what the distribution of his or her assets will be. That distribution scheme adopted by the State is one that is not likely to be desired by most individuals. Therefore, it is crucial that a properly drafted Will be prepared. Such a Will allows for the distribution of your assets according to your desires, and for planning adequately for the financial and tax needs of your heirs.
We can assist you with Wills, revocable trusts, life insurance trusts, living wills, durable powers of attorney, and health care powers of attorney. In more complex estates, we can provide estate planning tax advice to insure that your assets pass to your intended beneficiaries at the smallest tax cost possible.
No estate plan is complete unless proper attention is also given to the protection of an individual’s assets during life from creditors. There are a number of options that are available to individuals to minimize the risks that their assets face from unforeseen and devastating losses. We assist clients, including our professional clients, in arranging their assets and affairs in such a fashion that the assets are best protected from such exposure.
Upon the death of an individual, his or her estate must be “probated” in North Carolina. Probating is a process that insures that the Will is validated, that the debts are all paid, and that the assets are divided according to the Will or according to North Carolina law. We represent executors as they work through the probate process to make the process as painless and hassle-free as possible. We assist executors in preparing and making all probate filings, tax filings, addressing creditor issues, and distributing assets to beneficiaries.