What Are the Benefits of Estate Planning?
All too often estate planning is thought of as something only the very wealthy need to worry about. In fact, virtually everyone, no matter your current financial situation, can benefit from estate planning. When you have an estate plan in place that accurately reflects your unique situation as well as your goals, you can rest easy knowing those left behind will have an easier process to navigate. Having Raleigh NC Probate Attorneys from NC Planning can give you the peace of mind you want, knowing your estate plan does exactly what you want it to do. Other advantages of estate planning include:
- Your assets will be distributed to those you choose, rather than the state choosing how to distribute your assets.
- If you are concerned about an adult child’s spouse or creditors taking the child’s inheritance, you can make provisions in your estate plan that will avoid these potential situations.
- Expenses and taxes can be significantly minimized, including estate taxes and capital gains taxes.
- If you have minor children, you can choose a guardian for them, as well as leave instructions for how you want them cared for as well as financial issues associated with that care.
- Your estate plan allows you to plan your funeral ahead of time, even providing for the expenses associated with the funeral and burial.
- If you support charities—and their continuing support is important to you—you can provide for ongoing charitable giving through your estate plan.
- You can plan for your unexpected incapacitation, whether through an accident or an illness. Your estate plan can clearly outline your wishes regarding who will make medical and financial decisions on your behalf.
- A trustee can be named for your estate through a living trust, saving money and simplifying the estate administration process.
- If you have a child who has special needs, you can establish a Special Needs Trust that will allow them to receive an inheritance while still remaining eligible for government benefits.
- As a business owner, you can ensure your business continues following your death or incapacitation—and how that will occur.
As you can see, estate planning can be complex and full of issues you would never want to leave undecided. When you work with professional estate planning attorneys from NC Planning, you can be sure your estate plan has provided for all eventualities and is uniquely tailored to you and your family.
How Can Experienced Raleigh, NC Estate, Probate & Trust Attorneys Help?
The Raleigh estate, probate & trust attorneys from NC Planning will help you prepare for unexpected incapacitation, retirement, taxes, issues related to your children, and your death. We offer sound legal advice on wills, trusts, the probate process, powers of attorney, charitable giving, tax planning, and so much more. We are highly trained in matters related to passing on your assets following your death—and protecting those assets while you are alive. We will assist you with the following:
- Preparing a last will and testament that provides for guardianship of your children and, in the absence of a trust, provides for the distribution of your assets
- Setting up a living trust, transferring your assets into the trust, overseeing the trust, and helping administer the trust after your death
- Preparing other types of trusts that will address specific issues
- Helping you make a plan for charitable giving
- Avoiding probate, and thus stress and expense for your loved ones
- Granting another person power of attorney for financial or healthcare purposes
- Assisting in tax planning and wealth transfers
- Answering all questions you may have regarding estate planning as well as the state and federal laws that govern estate planning
- Helping small business owners or business partners with succession planning
- Assisting those who have out-of-state property or assets
- Helping you plan for a blended family, or a child with special needs
NC Planning Estate, Probate & Trust Attorneys Helping You Plan for the Future
Whether you are planning for your loved ones or for your business, the NC Planning attorneys can help you achieve all your goals. We offer the following services:
- Wills are legal documents that ensure an estate is properly distributed upon the death of the will-maker (testator). A will can also name a guardian for minor children, as well as detail how the testator wants the children taken care of. In order for a will to be “self-proving” in NC and easily be admitted to probate, North Carolina wills must be signed in front of two witnesses and notarized. As long as the testator is of sound mind, the will can be changed or revoked at any time.
- Irrevocable Trusts are trusts in which the grantor—the person creating the trust—ceases to own the assets transferred into the trust. The grantor retains no right to revoke, terminate or modify the trust in any way. As such, irrevocable trusts can be an effective vehicle for protecting assets from creditors and for tax planning purposes.
- Revocable Trusts are created when the grantor (trust maker) places assets in a trust and names a trustee to administer the trust. Revocable trusts can be altered or canceled at any time by the grantor. A successor trustee is named in the trust to take over in the event the grantor is incapacitated or upon the grantor’s death. Revocable trusts have some benefits over wills, specifically that no probate is required. A revocable trust allows beneficiaries to receive the grantor’s assets quickly and efficiently following the grantor’s death.
- Special Needs and Supplemental Trusts preserve a beneficiary’s eligibility for needs-based government benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Because the special needs child does not own the assets in the trust, they remain eligible for any benefits programs that have an asset limit.
- Charitable Trusts are set up specifically to manage charitable giving by distributing proceeds and assets to charities you specify. Charitable trusts can do this during your life and after your death. If charitable giving is important to you, charitable trusts can be an important part of your estate plan.
- Trust Administration refers to the management of assets within the trust. The trustee is responsible for trust administration, holding the duty of a fiduciary. The trustee is charged with protecting the assets in the trust, ensuring they are used as specified by the grantor. The duties of trust administration will vary, according to the individual trust.
- Estate Administration is a process under which a person’s property and assets are distributed after their death and their financial affairs are concluded. It can be extremely helpful to have an experienced estate administration attorney from NC Planning to ensure the process goes smoothly.
- Tax Planning can be an integral part of estate planning, taking an individual’s tax implications into account while building an estate plan.
- Powers of Attorney are legal documents giving an individual the authority to act for another person regarding specified legal, medical, or financial affairs.
- Elder Law The goal of elder law planning is to prepare seniors for the future through proper financial planning and long-term care options.
How NC Planning Will Help You Plan for the Road Ahead
Perhaps you have decided it’s time to have an estate plan prepared. At NC Planning, we understand that you have choices regarding an estate planning attorney to guide you through the process. We believe once you speak to our legal team regarding your estate planning needs, your choice will become clear. At NC Planning, we take a strong strategic approach to your estate planning needs. We will answer your estate planning questions clearly and in an easy-to-understand manner.
No matter your asset level or your goals, our team can help you achieve everything you want your estate plan to accomplish. We are experienced, knowledgeable estate planning attorneys you can trust and feel comfortable with. Our client care is exemplary and our communication with clients is outstanding. We consistently deliver high-quality estate planning services to our clients—and will do the same for you. With offices in Cary, NC, and Raleigh, NC, we are ready to assist you in your estate planning endeavors. Contact NC Planning today!