North Carolina Estate Planning: Preparation is Key

It’s been said there are only two certainties in life, and death is one of them. Paying taxes, of course, is the other.  Incidentally, sometimes even at death, taxes are due. Proper planning for one’s family after death necessitates the help of an attorney with knowledge of North Carolina estate planning law.

A will is the basic cornerstone of any estate plan. It generally directs the disposition of assets after death, provides for certain fiduciaries and defines their powers, nominates a guardian for minor children, and provides what will occur in the event of a simultaneous death of a person and their spouse, among other things. Sometimes, in addition a trust may be used to hold title to assets and provide management for beneficiaries.  For anyone in the greater Charlotte, NC area interested in executing a will, it is a good idea to seek legal counsel from a Charlotte estate planning attorney.

In addition to a basic Will, there are two other main documents typically prepared in a basic estate plan.  A Durable Power of Attorney is used to appoint a trusted agent to act on your behalf financially, should you not be able to act.  A Health Care Power of Attorney appoints a trusted agent to act on your behalf regarding health care decisions.   Many NC estate planning attorneys also include, within a Health Care Power of Attorney, a living will (of advance directive) which allows decision making in advance regarding end of life medical treatment.

Finally, in some estates, planning for possible estate tax issues may be necessary.  This requires more advanced planning but can be incredibly beneficial.