When a person considers hiring a trusts and estates attorney in Broadway North Carolina, it is usually in contemplation as to how to help other people. He or she may want to carefully draft a will to leave assets to a spouse or children or make a trust that will protect his or her family’s future for years to come. However, a trusts and estates attorney in Broadway North Carolina can also be retained to provide planning regarding pets.
For many people, pets become a member of the family. They may supplement a family that has children or sometimes take the place of children in a person’s life. When a person is contemplating final wishes, he or she may consider what will happen to the family pet. This is especially important if the individual is single. However, even if the individual is fairly comfortable that the pet will be inherited by someone he or she trusts, the person may still feel better getting this information in writing and ensuring that funds are available for the pet’s use and maintenance.
North Carolina law has a specific statute that details the creation of trusts for the use of caring for a pet. This statute states that no portion of the trust is to be used for the trustee or otherwise unless the trust explicitly states otherwise. Additionally, the trust remains in force until the death of the last animal. Upon termination, any remaining trust funds are transferred in accordance with the trust instructions or as part of the residuary clause of the will if there are no relevant instructions. A trusts and estates attorney can draft specific trust instructions that the trustee can carry out.
Estate planning involves creating a strategy for the disposition of your property after your death. Why is estate planning important? If you do not currently have a will in place, your estate assets will be passed according to North Carolina intestate succession laws upon your passing, and the result may not be what you would have expected or wanted. A wills, trusts and estates attorney in Broadway North Carolina can help you devise an effective estate plan to conserve your assets for your loved ones. Consult with a wills, trusts and estates attorney in Broadway North Carolina and start planning for the future today.
In the event that you pass away without a will, your property will pass to your next of kin according to North Carolina intestate succession laws. A surviving relative must outlive you by 120 hours in order to inherit your property under these laws. Your family members are entitled to inherit their intestate share of your property even if they are not citizens or legal aliens in the United States. If you do not have a spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, or cousins, your property will “escheat”, and pass to the state in the absence of a will stating otherwise.
Generally, only assets that you own in your name alone will pass according to intestate succession laws. However, there are some assets that directly transfer to a surviving co-owner or beneficiary, and therefore are not affected by these laws. Such assets include:
- property held in a living trust;
- life insurance proceeds;
- funds in an IRA, 401(k), or other retirement account;
- securities held in a transfer-on-death account;
- payable-on-death bank accounts; or
- property co-owned as a joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety.
Contact a local wills, trusts and estates attorney for more information about North Carolina estate planning.