It's not easy to contemplate death or what would happen if you became seriously ill or incapacitated. However, taking care of these issues now while you are of sound mind can save you and your loved ones significant hardship. It also means your wishes regarding your health care, long-term care and your estate will be preserved.
In short, having a proper estate plan in place can give you peace of mind about your future and your family's well-being. Lawyer Beth Carter can help you set up an estate plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. With offices in Denver and Huntersville, North Carolina, she assists families of all kinds with the following estate planning documents:
Most know what a will does — it creates a plan by which your property and assets are distributed upon your death. It can also set up a guardianship for your minor children should the unexpected happen. When a North Carolina resident dies without having made a last will and testament, the intestacy succession laws found in the North Carolina General Statutes will dictate who inherits the probate estate. Having a written will and testament means preserving your wishes.
Trusts are used for a variety of purposes, from establishing a fund to help a special-needs child to helping your family avoid probate. In a trust, you select someone, the trustee, to manage trust assets, such as property or investments, until the beneficiaries (like your minor children) come of age or fulfill the requirements necessary to inherit the assets in the trust. Depending on the type of trust you have, you could even manage it during your lifetime.
Beth will help you determine whether you might benefit from putting assets in trust and help you set them up properly.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone you choose the power to act in your place. A durable power of attorney stays in effect even if you ever become mentally incapacitated. A financial power of attorney provides an agent the ability to pay your bills, do your banking, and manage your financial affairs. A health care power of attorney relates to a person's ability to make health care decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Make sure you choose someone you trust to act in your best interests.
Sometimes called an advance directive, a living will preserves your wishes with regard to prolonging your life through medical means if you cannot make this decision for yourself (i.e., if you are in a coma or unconscious).
Guiding Your Family Through Probate
Probate is the process by which a person's estate is "settled," or distributed upon death. There are many steps to take, not the least of which is locating the proper will, notifying beneficiaries and settling final taxes.
The Law Offices of Beth B. Carter, PLLC, offers practical guidance through this process, both acting as an executor and helping executors perform their duties. Beth Carter recognizes that this can be an emotional time for your family. She will seek to help you move through the process efficiently and smoothly.
Schedule a Consultation With No Obligation
Every family's estate is different. Therefore, not everyone will need every document listed above. The Law Offices of Beth B. Carter, PLLC, will help you make an informed decision about what documents you wish to include. She offers a free consultation at no obligation to discuss your family's estate planning needs. Call 704-966-8028, or contact her online, to schedule a consultation.