Monthly Archives: December 2015

How a Trusts Attorney in Broadway NC Can Help

An effective estate plan begins with a will or living trust.  While a will provides instructions regarding how you wish to have your property distributed upon your death, it does not avoid probate.  However, a trusts attorney in Broadway North Carolina can advise you about various types of trusts that you can create which do not need to go through probate.  A trusts attorney in Broadway North Carolina can help you reduce your estate taxes and ensure that your property is protected from creditors by creating a trust appropriate for your unique circumstances and wishes.

Any assets titled in your name or included in your will must go through probate before they can be distributed to your heirs.  The probate process is a notorious headache.  In addition to requiring the payment of legal fees, executor fees, and court costs, the process can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete.  One of the reasons why trusts are often used as an estate planning tool is to avoid probate.

Trusts can also be created for specific purposes.  For example, a trust can be created with assets that can be managed by the trustee of your selection until your beneficiaries reach a specific age.  Or, you could create a trust that continues longer to provide for a loved one with special needs, or to protect the trust’s assets from irresponsible spending, or a beneficiaries’ creditors and/or spouses.  If your health is failing, you could create a living trust in order to provide for your incapacity without interruption or unnecessary court costs.  If you have a will, you could also create a revocable living trust that would transfer the remaining assets of your estate into the trust upon your death.  You should consult with a wills and trusts attorney to accurately determine what would work best for you.

Why You Need an Estate Planning Attorney in Harnett County NC

If you are thinking about how you can better provide for your loved ones after your passing, you should definitely contact an estate planning attorney in Harnett County North Carolina.  Estate planning allows you to anticipate and make conscious decisions about how your property will be transferred upon your death.  An estate planning attorney in Harnett County North Carolina can advise you on the best strategies for maximizing the value of your estate by reducing taxes and other expenses, in addition to eliminating uncertainties related to probate.

While most people initially go to an estate planning attorney in order to get a will drafted, estate planning involves more than just your will.   Effective estate planning can also help you:

  • provide instructions for your care if you become disabled before your death;
  • name a guardian and an inheritance manager for any minor children;
  • provide for family members with special needs without disrupting their government benefits;
  • provide for loved ones who may need future protection from creditors or divorce;
  • acquire life insurance to provide for your family after your death, disability income insurance to replace your income if you cannot work due to illness or injury, and long-term care insurance to help pay for medical care in the event of an extended illness or injury;
  • provide for the transfer of your business upon your retirement, disability, or death;
  • create a revocable living trust to avoid probate;
  • minimize taxes, court costs, and any unnecessary legal fees.

You do not need to be wealthy or retired to benefit from estate planning.  Since it is not possible for anyone to predict how long he or she will live, estate planning cannot not be put off indefinitely.  Start planning for your future and the future well-being of your family by contacting a local estate planning attorney today, while you still have the time.

Why You Need a Probate Attorney in Lee County NC

When someone dies leaving assets titled in his or her name, probate proceedings are generally required.  Probate refers to the legal process that allows a surviving spouse or other close family member the authority to engage in administrative functions on behalf of the deceased’s estate in order to pay any debts, taxes and transfer assets to the appropriate heirs.  Probate can be complicated and will likely require the advice and assistance of a competent probate attorney in Lee County North Carolina.  If your loved one has passed away and you do not know what to do, you should contact a probate attorney in Lee County North Carolina as soon as possible to guide you through the probate process.

During the probate process, the court will appoint a personal representative to take charge of the estate.  If there is a will, the court will appoint the executor named in the will as the personal representative.  In the absence of a will, the court will appoint an administrator.  If there is a surviving spouse, he or she has first priority to be appointed as administrator of the deceased’s estate.

Certain assets of a decedent’s estate may be transferred without going through probate.  Some common examples of these types of assets include:

  • assets of the decedent owned in joint tenancy, which automatically pass to the surviving owner;
  • real estate of the decedent owned with his or her spouse in “tenancy by the entirety”;
  • assets for which a beneficiary has been named outside of the will such as payable-on-death bank accounts or retirement accounts;
  • proceeds from a life insurance policy or pension benefits that are payable to a named beneficiary;
  • assets held in a revocable living trust.

If you have any questions about the administration of a deceased relative’s estate, you should consult with an experienced probate attorney for more information about wills, estates and the probate process.

Why You Need a Family Law Attorney in Broadway NC

Divorce just may be one of the most emotionally challenging life experiences one can endure.  However, if you are considering a do-it-yourself divorce, there is a high likelihood that you may turn an already difficult process into an unbearable one.  Hiring an experienced family law attorney in Broadway North Carolina is the single most important first step you can take once you or your spouse has made the choice to end your marriage.  Before you make any decisions related to getting a divorce, you should consult with a family law attorney in Broadway North Carolina.

North Carolina divorce law requires that at least one of the parties in a marriage must have resided in the state for at least six months prior to one of the parties filing for divorce.  The Divorce Complaint needs to specify the grounds upon which the divorce is being sought.  For example, in North Carolina, either party to the marriage may file for divorce under no-fault grounds if the couple has lived separate and apart for at least one year.  Otherwise, a divorce must be filed under fault grounds which requires that one of the spouses have committed one of the following acts:

  • Abandoned his or her family;
  • Maliciously turned the other out of doors;
  • By cruel or barbarous treatment endangered the life of the other;
  • Offered such indignities to the person of the other as to render his or her condition intolerable and life burdensome;
  • Became an excessive user of alcohol or drugs so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and the life of that spouse burdensome; or
  • Committed adultery.

Other more complicated legal concerns involve division of marital property, spousal support as well as child custody and support.  Proper legal guidance regarding these issues is necessary to ensure your rights are protected, so make sure to hire competent legal counsel.