Monthly Archives: June 2016

Trusts Attorney in Broadway NC Explains When You Need a Testamentary Trust

A trusts attorney in Broadway North Carolina discusses a person’s estate plans and final wishes to determine the appropriate type of financial tools to put into place.  In some instances, a trusts attorney in Broadway North Carolina may recommend a testamentary trust. 

A testamentary trust is a trust that is part of your last will and testament.  It provides for the distribution of the estate according to particular instructions.  Testamentary trusts are ideal for individuals who do not have complicated estates and who do not want to deal with the administrative expenses related to handling a living trust.

A testamentary trust becomes effective at the time of death and provides specific instructions regarding the trust assets.  In this manner, a testamentary trust allows for arrangements and conditions that could not be made through a simple will.

In many cases, a testamentary trust is established for the benefit of a minor child.  It often includes life insurance proceeds.  If the settlor dies, the testamentary trust allows the appointed trustee to carry out the wishes of the trust.  The settlor establishes the use of trust funds and other directives within the trust document.  He or she names a trustworthy individual who will carry out these duties, called the trustee.

In addition to use for minor children, testamentary trusts may also be used to provide for a relative with special needs.  They can also be used for anyone who stands to inherit a large sum of money upon the settlor’s death or any other individual who may benefit from their use.

Have Your Estate Planning Attorney in Harnett County NC Review Beneficiaries

Part of an effective estate plan that an estate planning attorney in Harnett County North Carolina may create is the use of beneficiary designation forms.  While a will or trust may be the cornerstone of an estate plan, beneficiary designation forms can dispose of certain assets, such as retirement accounts, life insurance policies and bank accounts.  Having an estate planning attorney in Harnett County North Carolina review your beneficiary designation forms can protect you from unwanted consequences. 

In some cases, individuals sign beneficiary designation forms and do not update them.  During the course of several years, many events in life can change.  A married person may get divorced.  A single person who listed his or her parents may now want to list a spouse.  A following out may affect a person’s desire to provide anything to an outdated named beneficiary.

The problem with outdated beneficiary designations is that the court usually does not have the power to override such a beneficiary that was originally contemplated by the decedent.  The decedent can no longer state his or her preference.  Therefore, the court must go by what was written on a paper years ago.  Therefore, unintended consequences may result, such as an ex benefiting from the decedent’s death.  Furthermore, a will or other document cannot overrule a beneficiary designation form, so it is imperative that these forms be reviewed periodically by an estate planning attorney and updated to reflect your current wishes.

Additionally, the beneficiaries named in a will or trust should also be reviewed and updated periodically.  Circumstances may change that affect your final wishes.  For example, a child may have special needs and may be in greater need of resources than other children.  Getting remarried may also trigger a desire to change such arrangements.

Three Times It Pays to Have a Probate Attorney in Lee County NC

Under some circumstances, the executor can be held personally responsible for mistakes he or she makes.  In order to avoid such consequences, many executors retain the services of a probate attorney in Lee County North Carolina.  A probate attorney in Lee County North Carolina is especially helpful in the following scenarios:

Real Estate Must Be Handled 

For many people, their most valuable asset is real estate.  The executor has the responsibility of safeguarding the decedent’s property and following the mandates of the will.  The executor also has the duty to maintain the property.

The executor may be tasked with the responsibility of selling real estate.  It is often advisable to list the property quickly since it can take some time to sell real estate.  A probate attorney may be able to provide information about the options available to the executor, such as investing some funds into the property so it will yield a higher sales price or selling property with flaws in it to an investor if it would not otherwise secure a good price.

Hiring Other Professionals 

There may come a time when the executor needs to hire another professional, such as a realtor, accountant, financial planner or tax advisor.  While a friend may be employed in one of these professions, hiring him or her may create a conflict of interest.  A probate attorney may be able to recommend another professional that is more neutral to the executor.

Submitting Documents to the Court 

There are specific documents that the executor must submit.  There are also special deadlines that must be adhered to.  A probate attorney can ensure that the proper procedures are followed in order to avoid unnecessary problems and delays.

Minimizing Conflict with the Help of a Family Law Attorney in Broadway NC

Family law matters are some of the most emotional and contentious due to the high stakes.  These legal issues may involve a couple’s children, property and livelihood.  When going through such turmoil, it is important that each party be represented by a different family law attorney in Broadway North Carolina.  A family law attorney in Broadway North Carolina is familiar with family law issues and can take steps to minimize conflict such as:

Handling Communication 

When two parties are involved in a dispute, it is common for their legal counsel to recommend not communicating with the other party about the dispute.  Any negative communication may later be used against them.  However, a lawyer can handle communication with the other party or with his or her attorney if the other party is represented.  Being able to detach from the situation can often help minimize any potential drama.

Making Recommendations 

A family law lawyer deals with family conflict on a daily basis.  He or she can make recommendations based on his or her professional experience.  For example, a family law lawyer may recommend distancing from social media while a case is pending.  Staying connected to a social media account of an ex often leaves a person emotionally invested.  A family law lawyer may also suggest mediation as a way to help resolve some of the issues and to preserve a more positive relationship between the parties.

Negotiating 

A skilled family law attorney can advocate on your behalf without frustrating the process.  He or she can represent your best interests and negotiate a fair settlement of the case.  In divorce, this may mean pushing for certain assets.  In child custody cases, this may mean fighting for more time with the children.  He or she zealously represents the client’s interests.