Monroe Estate Planning Attorneys
Estate planning is an important legal process that can help you preserve your long-term financial interests after your death and prepare your family for financial success when you’re gone. Careful planning and legal guidance can help your family avoid some of the troubles that plague other families, such as costly legal fees, steep taxes, creditor harassment, and disputes between relatives regarding the distribution of assets. Furthermore, without a plan in place, state law will determine how your property is distributed. This could result in your loved ones never receiving what you wanted them to.
Our Monroe estate planning lawyers at Leitner, Bragg & Griffin, PLLC craft comprehensive estate plans that provide North Carolinians with peace of mind knowing they did their part to protect the financial future of their family. We invite you to let us do the same for you. We employ diverse strategies for keeping your hard-earned assets from creditors and getting them to your intended beneficiaries. Whatever your specific financial or personal circumstances, we are determined to help you achieve your long-term financial goals.
Contact our office by calling (704) 447-7473 to discuss your estate planning goals with Leitner, Bragg & Griffin.
Estate Planning Strategies in North Carolina
Estates often encompass much more than people initially realize. Depending on your situation, your estate may include:
- Business assets and commercial interests
- Financial accounts (checking, savings, credit union, and retirement accounts)
- Residential and commercial property
- Investments and stocks
- Life insurance policies
- Personal property
- Debts (medical debts, credit card balances, outstanding mortgages, car payments, etc.)
Because an estate can encompass so much, there are several strategies that experienced attorneys can employ to help you distribute your assets and resolve your debts. However, the most important tools to be aware of are wills (“last will and testaments”) and trusts.
North Carolina Wills and Trusts
Wills are the foundation of every estate plan. A will is a legal document that outlines the wishes of an individual regarding the administration of their estate after they pass away. It indicates how they would like their assets distributed (except for those controlled by trusts), names beneficiaries, and establishes plans for resolving debts. It’s also important to know that, in addition to managing assets, wills can also appoint guardians over dependents and name personal representatives to administer estates in probate. Probate is a necessary legal process that verifies a will and ensures assets are transferred to the rightful beneficiaries.
Trusts are a way to transfer assets without going through probate. This is a useful tool because probate is a public process, meaning information about asset transfers accomplished through wills can become known to creditors or other individuals. On the other hand, transfers completed via trusts are kept out of probate and made known only to the person who manages the relevant assets (the trustee) and the intended beneficiary. In terms of estate planning, the most common trust in North Carolina is a living trust, which allows individuals to appoint a trustee who will facilitate asset transfers for beneficiaries. Most estate plans consist of a combination of wills and trusts.
Let Our Monroe Estate Planning Lawyers Help Protect Your Assets
Although it is possible to draft a basic estate plan in North Carolina without the help of an attorney, it is important to keep in mind that wills and trusts are legal documents. There are detailed laws that regulate them and specific steps that must be taken to ensure they that will hold up in a court of law. This is made even more complicated by the fact that estate plans are extremely individualized. Because they account for your personal, financial, and legal situation, your estate plan will probably look unlike anyone else’s. Our estate planning lawyers will help you craft a plan that accounts for your situation and the relevant laws that apply to your assets.
No matter where you are in the estate planning process, we invite you to work with our team. Call (704) 447-7473 or message us to discuss your case.
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