What is Estate Planning?

The most important things in life are not things—

We all know this. And we all spend a lifetime accumulating things, taking care of our things, and taking care of our loved ones. But what happens when you get sick? What happens when you pass away? Not only what happens to your things…but what happens to your loved ones?

Estate planning is the process of providing for the care of your loved ones and the preservation and disposition of your property following your death or disability. Estate planning is necessary to ensure that your wishes regarding health care and property are honored during your life and that your loved ones are taken care of when you are gone.  And if you have a business, it can be critical to the preservation of the business.

With or without a business, it is critical to your family and loved ones.  And that is why it is so important to get it right–because the most important things in life are not things.

How Does an Estate Plan Work?

The term “estate plan” actually refers to a variety of tools that are used to manage your property and provide for your  loved ones after death.  “Plan” is the key term, and the component that is often missing from DIY estate plans, the  purveyors of one-size-fits-all solutions, and attorneys that are too busy to actually listen to their clients.

Planning eventually employs tools, and these tools work in combination with each other to achieve your overall goals. The most common tools are wills, trusts, life insurance, powers of attorney, and living wills—but there are many others.  We can use these tools to:

  • Provide for the guardianship and financial support of your children
  • Protect your home from creditors
  • Provide options for long-term care
  • Ensure that your property will be distributed how you like, with minimal legal hurdles and expenses
  • Avoid the costly and time-consuming probate process where that is desirable
  • Minimize estate taxes and administrative expenses
  • Provide cash for your heirs to pay estate taxes, administrative expenses, and keep a business running
  • Ensure that someone is able to preserve your business and, in many instances, keep it operating
  • Dictate your decisions regarding your own health care and life choices should you become incapacitated

A plan to fit your particular needs

 Assisting client with a range of services, including:

  • Wills and Estate Planning
  • Review of Wills and Estate Plans for new North Carolina residents
  • Probate
  • Irrevocable and Revocable Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Advance Directives
  • Child custody and Guardianship Issues
  • Asset Protection Planning
  • Planning for Incapacity
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • We will not hand you standardized forms off the internet, but will listen to you and work with you to accomplish what you desire.

(See our Estate Planning FAQs section for answers to commonly asked questions and descriptions of above and other terms.)

Which Estate Plan Options are Right for Me?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all estate plan. The estate plan that is right for someone else may be totally  wrong for you. Furthermore, with the constantly changing tax laws and other options, the plan that worked for some people yesterday might be disastrous today.

Your family situation and, most importantly, your goals are critical. Understanding your options takes time. Most options are just that, and they have pros and cons. We will listen to you. We will explain the options to you. We will guide you. And we will take the time to help you to decide which options will serve you best. And we will continue to be there when you need us.

We would love the opportunity to be of service.

See our Estate Planning Fees and the unique way we price our services.