Wills & Trusts March 28, 2017 | dev North Carolina Wills Attorney Properly drafted estate planning documents allow you and your representatives to describe and execute a financially sound plan, enforce your wishes, and most importantly, protect yourself, your survivors, and your legacy. A good estate plan is a cost-effective way to assure your loved ones don’t face any unnecessary hardships after your death. Planning with the assistance of our attorneys ensures that your heirs maximize their inheritance, because a solid estate plan results in tremendous cost savings due to lower court costs and probate expenses, legal fees, taxes, and possibly even avoids penalties and interest that could result from poor planning or no planning. Keep in mind that the services you receive from us extend beyond simple document preparation; instead, we provide you comprehensive planning, advice, and analysis to be sure the disposition of your estate, whether your assets pass through your will, your trust, or via other methods is consistent with your goals and otherwise meets your expectations. Contact McAllister, Aldridge & Kreinbrink to discuss your personal and estate matters. Last Will and Testament Whether your net worth is sizable or whether you have significant debt, you need a properly prepared will. Wills are particularly important if you are expecting a child, currently have minor children, or minor children might inherit from your estate (including your grandchildren and nieces and nephews). Most people are familiar with the purpose and function of a will. If you die without a will, you leave behind an “intestate” estate for your survivors to settle. In that event, if you are married, your property will likely go to your spouse and possibly your children, which can be very problematic if your children are too young to manage the inheritance or if you intend instead that your spouse should be the only heir. If you are not married, your heirs are identified by the laws in North Carolina, and may include minor children or remote relatives. Rarely is an intestate estate administration a pleasant experience for your survivors, and often the result is not what you intended. An intestate estate can also be quite a bit more expensive and difficult to settle, and the inevitable result is a financial and emotional burden on your survivors. Our lawyers understand the law and have extensive experience in estate planning and estate administration, so we are well equipped to provide practical and solid guidance so you and your survivors can avoid any undue hardship, grief, stress, costs, or burdens. At McAllister, Aldridge & Kreinbrink, we will help you put the right estate planning tools to work for you in a manner that is right for your situation. Using Wills and Trusts Effectively Regardless of your assets, goals, or dependents, there are many strategies we can use to serve your needs and interests. The only way for a lawyer to effectively use the many tools available for estate planning is to take the time to become invested in your story, your goals, and your needs. We love to listen and learn about you and the people and things that are important to you. Based on our conversations with you, we can create documents that will create a long-term plan for: Your Health Your Property Your Wealth Your Business Your Heirs Charitable or other causes you want to support All our plans are personalized and intended to meet all of your desired goals and be flexible to accommodate any changes in circumstances that may arise after you put your plan into place. So many clients want to know if they need a trust. Frankly, trusts are not often a good fit and may not be worth pursuing when you factor in the complexity and costs related to the creation, funding, and administration of trusts. However, trusts can be useful if: You want to keep the nature and value of your assets private or assure the privacy of your beneficiaries You have a taxable estate or you want to take advantage of tax saving opportunities (e.g. life insurance trusts, charitable trusts, etc.) You have complex assets that are difficult to pass outside of the probate estate (e.g. closely held business interests, valuable personal property or collections, etc.) You want to control property from the grave You are in your second+ (or later in life) marriage that involves his/hers/ours children or property You are philanthropically minded You have beneficiaries who need assistance managing the inheritance due to: Age Inexperience managing property/wealth Addiction or spendthrift issues Disability or special needs, especially if beneficiary receives means tested benefits (e.g. SSI, Medicaid) We always give our clients honest and practical feedback about whether a trust should be considered or if instead we can accomplish the same goals through more simple and cost-effective methods. We strive to put a plan in place for you that is as simple and streamlined as possible, and one that you fully understand that can be easily implemented. Contact a Will and Trust Attorney in North Carolina None of us know what the future holds, so now is the time to build a solid and dependable plan for yourself and your loved ones. Talk to an estate planning attorney to take the sound financial and legal steps necessary to protect yourself and your heirs. Call our office today at (336) 882-4300 or contact us online to schedule an appointment to discuss the wills and trusts that can work for you.