Estate, Trust & Probate Blog

signing will

What Qualifies as a Valid Will in North Carolina?

April 22, 2024

If you haven’t made a will yet, now is a great time. Without one, your assets could end up in the hands of someone you didn’t intend. A will lets you control which beneficiaries inherit your money and how much. Before racing off to make a will, you must understand what qualifies as a valid will in North Carolina. A Wilmington estate planning attorney explains will requirements in detail below. North Carolina Will Requirements North Carolina has several requirements for wills. If you fail to meet any of these requirements, your will won’t be valid. Age and Mental Capacity To…

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older couple going through paperwork

Dangers Associated With DIY Estate Planning Versus Working With an Attorney

April 8, 2024

You’ve found a DIY estate planning kit on the internet, so you decide to give it a shot. It’s free, and that certainly seems to beat paying a Wilmington estate planning attorney to do the job. Watch out, though; that kit might be free, but it can cost you down the road.  Read on to learn about the pitfalls you might run into if you opt to try estate planning lawyer-free. Why DIY Estate Planning Isn’t a Smart Move Estate planning is far more complex than you might think. It might work if you’re lucky, but if not, it could…

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Estates, Wills & Trusts In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

March 26, 2024

When it comes to end-of-life planning, there are understandably many emotions and there can be much stress involved. Dealing with state-specific laws and regulations around different types of documents can make the process even more distressing for many individuals. Let an experienced Wilmington estate planning lawyer confidently guide you through the process. The team at David E. Anderson, PLLC, is committed to helping you by providing you with high-quality care and knowledge throughout the estate planning process. Estates You may have heard people use the word “estate” when talking about end-of-life planning. Essentially, your “estate” refers to anything that you…

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A Glossary of North Carolina Estate Planning and Probate Terms

January 17, 2024

Ask almost any fellow adult, and they’ll likely tell you that they’re familiar with the term “estate planning.” If you inquire a bit further, they might even go as far as to tell you that they understand a will is a key component in an estate plan. However, they’re knowledge of this important area of the law may stop there. And, as for probate? You may find that very few understand very much about this process unless they’ve had first-hand experience navigating it on behalf of a deceased loved one.  Our team at David E. Anderson, PLLC want to help…

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How To Distribute Assets and Handle Debts After a Loved One Passes Away

December 29, 2023

When someone passes away, we typically see one of two situations happen. Someone who was forward-thinking will typically have sat down with an attorney at some point to draft a will and other estate planning documents, while others, whether they believed they were too young or didn’t have enough assets to do so, perhaps will have not yet done this. Not having a will drafted poses some potential problems, with the most pronounced issue being how to distribute assets and handle debts after a loved one passes away.  Below, our firm, David E. Anderson, PLLC, will share more about how…

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Understanding North Carolina’s Guardianship Statutes

December 4, 2023

When you hear the word guardian, you probably think of the person who steps in for a parent when their parent is unable to be there for them. While this is certainly something you can address in your North Carolina will, the guardianship concept refers to something a bit different. A guardianship is a service provided to individuals who allege to be or are deemed incompetent by a judge. And, according to the North Carolina Judicial Branch, the guardian’s role is to serve as a “surrogate decision maker and advocate” for that person, referred to as a ward. Now that…

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Common Estate Planning And Probate Issues And How To Avoid Them

October 19, 2023

Estate planning and the probate process can often seem like a straightforward affair, but with the complexity of different types of estates, we see a myriad of issues that frequently arise.  Disputes over wills, trust complications, and other matters can make an already challenging time even more difficult for grieving families. Here, we want to outline some of the common issues we’ve seen over the years and offer proactive measures to avoid them. 1. Ambiguous or Outdated Wills Issue: One of the most common issues in estate disputes arises from wills that are either ambiguously worded or outdated. For instance,…

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Understanding Different Types of Trusts: A Guide for North Carolinians

September 13, 2023

Estate planning can be a complex endeavor, but it is an essential step in ensuring that your assets and loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone. One of the key tools in estate planning is the “trust,” a legal entity that holds property or assets for the benefit of specific persons or entities.  Trusts can be used for a variety of purposes, such as minimizing estate taxes, protecting assets, and facilitating the smooth transition of wealth. For example, if your local library or another institution is close to your heart and you want to make sure to leave…

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hospital room with loved one

Understanding North Carolina’s Advance Healthcare Directives

August 9, 2023

If you want to ensure your wishes are followed in case you become incapacitated, there are specific legal documents you should consider having in North Carolina. These documents allow you to specify your preferences for medical treatment and to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf.  To craft these documents properly, it’s important to understand the purpose of each one and to have a Wilmington estate planning attorney on your side to help ensure they are created and executed properly. Health Care Power of Attorney A Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA) is a legal document that allows you…

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The North Carolina Probate Process And How To Navigate It

July 12, 2023

If you are going through the probate process in North Carolina, you may be experiencing a wide range of emotions as you begin. The death of a loved one is always challenging, and being thrust into the unfamiliar territory of probate can be overwhelming.  You may feel uncertain or even anxious about managing the legal and financial aspects of your loved one’s estate. You might be worrying about making a mistake or about conflicts among family members. These feelings are completely normal – probate can be a complex process, and it’s understandable to feel uneasy, especially given the circumstances. Understanding…

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