Do you know what will happen to your assets after you pass away? Have you made provisions for your dependents or appointed someone to make important decisions if you are unable to do so? A Lincoln County estate planning lawyer can work with you to put everything in order.
Planning for the future can be complicated and even confusing. We can make sure your affairs are settled properly so that you do not have to worry about your loved ones going without after your death or if you are incapacitated.
“Estate planning” is a broad term that can refer to any number of actions a person takes to protect themselves, their loved ones, and/or their personal assets if something happens to that person. Below are brief summaries of the estate planning services we offer and how an attorney from our firm can help you manage each.
Drawing Up a Will
This may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of estate planning. A will is a document in which you explain what you want to happen to your assets after you pass away. This includes any and all types of assets, including:
- Stocks and bonds
- Real estate
- Motor vehicles, such as cars or boats
- Personal collections
- Cash assets
A will may be as simple as a piece of paper giving everything to one or two people, or it may be several pages long and include a lot of stipulations and provisions. Either way, it must meet the standards set by G.S. § 31. Failure to meet these standards could mean:
- Your will could be challenged in a court of law
- Your intended beneficiaries may not get what you wanted them to inherit
- Legal cases against your will could drag on for years, placing an undue burden on your loved ones
The estate planning lawyers at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC can make sure your will is binding, provide witnesses to make your signing legal, and even change your will at a later date if parts of it become irrelevant or obsolete.
Designating Legal Guardians
The idea that you could die suddenly and leave your children with no one to care for them is every parent’s worst nightmare. This nightmare is shared by those with adult dependents—for example, aging parents or mentally disabled adult children—who rely on them for everyday care, financial support, and legal protection.
This is why it is a good idea to designate an official legal guardian for your dependents. Depending on which kind of guardian you appoint, this person could:
- Take in your dependents or otherwise ensure their needs are met
- Provide proper emotional support and guidance
- Argue for a child’s welfare in a court of law
This last category requires a guardian ad litem. While not required, this type of guardian will look out for your loved one’s needs for the duration of a specified legal action, such as a custody dispute or allegations of abuse. Per the North Carolina Judicial Branch, a guardian ad litem’s job involves:
- Collecting evidence to support whatever outcome is in the child’s best interests
- Advocating for the child both in and out of the courtroom
- Keeping up to date with the case
Whatever services you want to use to protect those who depend on you, you can count on us to provide them.
Designating Power of Attorney
“Power of attorney” refers to the ability to make critical decisions on your behalf. This could mean decisions regarding medical care, legal matters, or business matters, depending on what type of power of attorney you designate.
An estate planning lawyer from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC can help Lincoln County residents like you by:
- Designating power of attorney by filling out and submitting the proper paperwork
- Revoking power of attorney and/or redesignating to someone else, should you change your mind about the original designee for any reason
- Answering your questions about the different kinds of power of attorney so that you can make the right decisions for yourself and your family
By thinking about estate planning now, you exhibit commendable foresight and concern for your loved ones’ welfare. Unfortunately, not everyone gets the chance to put their wishes in writing before they pass away. This can lead to considerable confusion and strife among their survivors and beneficiaries.
Our team can protect your interests if:
- Your loved one died intestate (without a will)
- Your loved one’s will has been challenged or declared invalid
- You have to negotiate or go to court to try to receive the assets you are entitled to inherit
We know this is a difficult time for you and your family. Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC can examine documents, explain the law, collect evidence, and perform other legal tasks while you focus on processing your loved one’s passing.
We Provide Multiple Estate Planning Services
From designating guardians to designating powers of attorney, from putting your own affairs in order to helping you settle a loved one’s estate, Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC wants to be there for you. Our team can start protecting your rights even before you hire us: we offer free case reviews to everyone who calls in.
The sooner you contact our office and explain your needs, the sooner we can come up with a plan to protect both your loved ones and your assets, no matter what the future holds.
Start Planning Your Future Today
Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC serves estate planning clients in Lincoln County and throughout the state of North Carolina. To get help from one of our estate planning lawyers, call us at any time, day or night. Members of our team are always standing by to answer your questions and explain more about our services.