An estate plan includes your will and other legal documents that dictate the disposal of your personal property and assets. It also lets you create a detailed plan for guardianship of your minor children or adult children with special needs. Additionally, an estate plan helps you clarify plans for your future health care, end-of-life decisions, and final arrangements.
When you are ready to make these designations and select trustees and executors, a wills and estate lawyer from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can serve as your advocate in Forest City. Our goal is to ensure your plans are clear and that all documents are appropriately crafted, witnessed, and filed. You and your family will appreciate the peace of mind you gain by putting the correct forms in place now.
In This Article
The Importance of Creating a Will and Estate Plan
According to American Bar Association (ABA) research, a will is a legal statement you make in writing that details the disposition of your property upon your demise. Additional ABA guidelines warn of what happens if you do not have a will:
- The state, not you, will decide how to distribute your assets.
- The state’s distribution plans may not align with your preferences.
Appointing guardians for biological or adopted children, choosing trustees to protect their financial interests, and distributing your property are choices you should make. When our team creates a final will and estate plan for you, we help you make the decisions that matter to you.
Provisions You can Make in Your Will
While your will helps you create a safe and secure future for your minor children, disabled adult children, and other loved ones who are dependent on you, it can do much more. It can also help you make other critical designations, such as:
- Specifying charitable donations
- Choosing an executor
- Choosing trustees
- Making funeral and burial decisions
- Minimizing tax concerns
You could choose to liquidate some assets and pass on family heirlooms to specific people in this document. Once your preferences are detailed, and your will is drafted, our team will help you find witnesses, file your will, make any subsequent adjustments, and meet all other legal requirements the state mandates.
Documents That Complete Your Estate Plan
Your will is only the beginning of your estate plan. A complete estate plan involves making many critical decisions and filing an array of other forms and documents, as follows:
- Will: the legal document that distributes your estate
- Power of attorney: the document that allows another person to act on your behalf and make decisions for you regarding financial and legal matters
- Health care power of attorney: the document that helps you to clarify your preferences for medical care and appoint another person to convey your preferences when you are physically or mentally unable to do so
Making these choices and selecting people to fill specific roles can feel overwhelming on your own. When our team represents you, we take your family, health, assets, and business and personal circumstances into consideration. We work hard to ensure your goals are met and that your wishes are clearly outlined and followed.
What Happens if You do not Have a will or Estate Plan
Do not put your future or the future of your family into unknown hands. While some assets—like insurance policies with named beneficiaries and property in a living trust—can avoid probate court, the remainder of your estate is subject to the state’s mandates for asset distribution. You should decide how to distribute your assets, not the state.
G.S. Chapter 29 defines the many aspects of North Carolina’s intestate succession plan. Unless you make specific designations, it determines who will inherit specific percentages of your estate, according to your familial relationship.
Preparing a will and a plan for your estate also helps avoid family discord. Our wills and estate team helps ensure you make your decisions clear and put them into the correct legal form.
How Our Law Firm Helps Protect Your Future
Every member of your family aged 18 and older should consider drafting a will. Whether you are preparing to plan your estate or managing the estate of a recently deceased loved one, we can help. When our team is on your side, we ensure assets and health care choices are known and respected. Our team members will:
- Explain estate taxes and probate law
- Counsel you on your specific circumstances
- Help you compile and organize documents and information
In addition to helping prepare your will, our wills and estate lawyer serving Forest City can also offer guidance if a loved one passed away and you need help managing their estate.
Previous Clients Speak for Us
When our team helps you plan the disposition of your estate, we work with you to ensure your goals are met. Clients we have worked with in the past say:
- “Mark made it so simple for me. He informed me about every step that I needed to take, and at the same time was so efficient. Being dedicated and committed, Mark always cared about my best interest.” – Kim
- “Andrea stuck with me to the end. I could always get through to her. Her staff was great and would always get right back with me. I wasn’t just ‘a file in a cabinet’ and I was treated as if I was the only client.” – Lavonda
Creating an inclusive, responsive client experience is part of our service plan. When you are ready to organize your estate plans, our team is ready to advocate for you.
Let Our Team Help Create Your will and Estate Plan
If you need help completing your will, settling your estate, or managing the estate of a loved one, our wills and estate lawyer serving Forest City is available to provide support and guidance.
Find out by contacting a Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, team member today.