Monthly Archives: May 2016

Business Lawyer in Lee County NC Explains Succession Planning

A good business lawyer in Lee County North Carolina knows that the best time to plan for the end of the business is at the beginning.  At this point in time, there likely is no conflict as the business owners are forging ahead on a new path.  A business lawyer in Lee County North Carolina can help develop a thorough succession plan for the business. 

Succession planning allows the business owners to determine the lifespan of the business and how it will continue even if the business owner is no longer around to run the company, either because of death or his or her own preference or that of the remaining business owners.  A clear succession plan begins by identifying the goals of the business in regard to how it will endure after a business owner’s departure.   For example, if the business is a family business, there may be a desire to keep the business in the family.  If the business is a corporation, there may need to be provisions regarding possible buyouts of other owners.

The succession plan should echo the business’ shareholder agreement, partnership agreement or similar agreement that highlights how ownership interests can transfer.  A clear decision-making process should be employed to determine important decisions during a time of transition.  This succession plan should be disseminated to others in the business that has a stake in it, such as shareholders or family members.

The succession plan may name a person who will take over.  Alternatively, it may provide a process to vote on the new head of the business.  Additional support personnel may also be identified to help with periods of transition.  By taking the time to draft such a plan, the steps will be in place when the time comes to implement them.

Trusts and Estates Attorney in Broadway NC Explains A No Will Situation

If a person dies in North Carolina without a will, his or her family may be confused about what will happen next.  A trusts and estate attorney in Broadway North Carolina can explain what happens in this situation.  As a trusts and estate attorney in Broadway North Carolina can explain, much of what occurs is based on the state’s laws of intestate succession. 

Intestate succession means; who has the legal right to inherit when the decedent had no valid will and to what extent they stand to inherit.  The inheritance is based on the estate assets at the time of death.  The portion that heirs are entitled do depends on the identity of remaining survivors.  For example, if the decedent had children but was unmarried at the time of death, the children inherit everything.  The surviving spouse inherits everything if the decedent had no children, parents or descendants.   If the decedent had one surviving child or dependent, the surviving spouse would inherit half of the real estate owned by the decedent and a portion of his or her personal property.  The surviving child would inherit the remainder.  If a person dies with only a spouse and parents surviving him or her, the spouse receives half of the real estate and a portion of the personal property; the parents receive the remaining half of real estate and portion of personal property.

This inheritance only includes amounts owned by the estate at the time of death.  Therefore, funds in a trust are not subject to division in the manner described above.  Similarly, life insurance proceeds that do not name the estate as the beneficiary are not included.  A trusts and estates attorney can work with clients in order to help them avoid the unnecessary and unwanted results of intestate succession.

Probate Attorney in Sanford NC Explains how to Avoid Litigation

A probate attorney in Sanford North Carolina can explain that litigation can quickly drain the funds of the estate and leave family members at odds.  Fortunately, there are several steps that individuals can take to avoid litigation before it ever becomes a possibility.  Some suggestions you may hear from a probate attorney in Sanford North Carolina include:

Have a Properly Drafted Will 

While there is no guarantee that an heir at law will not contest a last will and testament, having a properly drafted will can help decrease the probability that such a contest will be successful.  An estate planning lawyer can help ensure that all legal formalities are carried out.  Additionally, he or she can help ensure that all potential, known issues are accounted for in your estate plan.

Avoid Probate

Much litigation occurs within the probate context.  However, there are several ways to avoid probate altogether, also allowing you to avoid probate litigation.  Probate assets include property that is owned at the time of death.  However, it does not include life insurance proceeds, property in trusts, property owned as joint tenants with the right of survivorship or property transferred at death with a properly executed beneficiary designation form.  A probate attorney can help transfer property and establish trusts in order to help you avoid probate.

Communication

In some cases, there is confusion after a loved one dies, leading potential heirs to question whether the will or trust really reflected the testator’s wishes.  By talking through your preferred plans well before death, much of this confusion can be eliminated.

Talk to a Lawyer

An estate planning lawyer can discuss other strategies that can help you avoid litigation.  Additionally, he or she can explain ways that you can protect your assets in case litigation does ensue.

Real Estate Attorney in Sanford NC Explains Adverse Possession

North Carolina residents may be surprised to learn that trespassers can legally obtain property that belongs to another after meeting certain conditions.  A real estate attorney in Sanford North Carolina can explain when adverse possession may apply.  Additionally, a real estate attorney in Sanford North Carolina can provide representation to a party that is affected by adverse possession. 

In order for a trespasser to acquire adverse possession of a property, he or she must openly occupy the property that is otherwise abandoned.  This possession must be ongoing for 20 years in most cases.  However, if the trespasser has a deed or other written instrument that he or she gives the right to possess the land, he or she need only occupy it for seven years.

There are strict rules regarding the occupation of such property.  In order for a trespasser to acquire the right to the land, he or she must use the land in a way that the actual landowner knows or should know that the trespasser is living there.   The use must also not be compatible with the owner’s use of the land, usually meaning that the owner has not given the trespasser permission to use the land.

Additionally, the trespasser must continuously use the land.  If he or she only intermittently uses the land, he or she will not have the right to adverse possession.  Similarly, the trespasser must have exclusive use of the land.

Property owners who do not want their legal rights to a property can take steps to safeguard their property interests.  A real estate attorney can evaluate a claim regarding adverse possession and provide recommendations and information about options that may be available to the property owner.