Estate, Trust & Probate Blog

The College Protection Plan

August 4, 2021

Sending your child off to college is nerve-wracking enough in normal circumstances. Unfortunately, these are not normal circumstances. In addition to worrying about your child’s eating, sleeping, and studying habits, now you have to worry about your son or daughter’s health and safety! This is especially true if your child is leaving home for a different city this fall. While there is little you can do to combat the virus (aside from the current containment strategies), you can make sure you are prepared if your son or daughter has a medical emergency while in college. We can help you prepare…

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Five Reasons Business Owners Need Estate Plans

August 2, 2021

Business owners are notorious for engrossing themselves in the day-to-day management and functions of their businesses. As a business owner, you are likely the heart and soul of the company you lead. Your clients love you, and you have built unique relationships with your contractors and suppliers. Suppose, however, that tragedy strikes: You, as the business owner, are in a car accident and are severely injured or killed, leaving you unable to make decisions or care for yourself and your family. What will happen to your business in such a situation? We do not know what tomorrow holds. Circumstances like…

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Modernizing an Outdated Estate Plan – What to do with a Confusing, Old Trust?

July 30, 2021

Estate plans evolve. Or at least they should. Any plan that fails to achieve your goals and doesn’t match your current financial and family circumstances is out of date and is in need of an overhaul. I can help you revitalize the obsolete aspects of your plan and get you back on track for the future. How to know if you have an outdated will or trust? If you or anyone you know signed a will or trust in 2012 or before, an immediate review should be on your to-do list. There have been many legal and policy changes since…

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Can Medicaid Estate Recovery Take Your House?

July 28, 2021

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have Medicaid Estate Recovery Programs (MERP). The program was made mandatory after the passing of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. Notably, after the death of a Medicaid recipient, MERP provides means for the state to get reimbursed for the funds it spends on long-term care of that person. These home care expenses can be categorized into in-home care, community-based care, such as adult day care and assisted living services, or nursing home care.  A big concern for most elderly people and adult children with aging parents, who need Medicaid assistance…

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If I Don’t Have an Estate, Do I Really Need an Estate Plan?

July 26, 2021

You don’t need to have a summer house in the Hamptons or a private art collection big enough to rival MOMA to consider yourself the owner of an estate. In fact, virtually anyone who owns anything has an “estate” in the eyes of the law. Although the term may conjure images of expansive country properties, expensive cars, or other symbols of high wealth, for the purposes of estate planning law, the term “estate” covers a whole lot more. What constitutes as an estate? Ordinary possessions like homes, jewelry collections, bank accounts, cars, furniture — basically anything you can own —…

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How A Living Trust Helps Your Family

July 21, 2021

There are several parts to an estate plan, one of them being a living trust. Common factors that prompt someone to create a trust include privacy, tax benefits, avoiding probate, and caring for family members with special needs. Estate planning also lets you dictate how your assets will pass on to future generations after your death. Avoiding Probate One of the primary reasons for creating an estate plan is to avoid probate. Unlike a will, a fully funded living trust will avoid probate, typically a lengthy and costly court-supervised process. Probate includes locating and determining the value of the deceased’s…

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How Does A Revocable Living Trust Work?

July 19, 2021

In recent years, revocable trusts have become a preferred method in estate planning to a regular one-time Will or irrevocable trust. Although revocable trusts in North Carolina are similar to a Will in that they both make a plan for how your estate is handled in the event of your death, the revocable trust has additional benefits. If the grantor is incapacitated, a revocable trust can be changed or canceled, which provides flexibility in the case a change is warranted – this is a huge advantage over the more traditional irrevocable trusts or Wills. If you need help with estate…

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Kids Going Away To College? Why You Should Include Estate Planning in the Preparation

July 15, 2021

You may have been running around for weeks, getting your new college student off to school. It’s exhilarating, and your heart likely is bursting at the seams. You’re probably prouder than you can say, but you’re a little afraid, too. How can you make sure your kid is going to be safe at school, so far away from home? A new Bed Bath and Beyond matching sheet set for the dorm sounds great, but it just doesn’t seem like quite enough, does it? So what else can you do? Actually, there is something, probably not yet on your to-do list,…

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6 Key Considerations for Passing Down a Family Business

July 13, 2021

You have spent years building your small business, but have you taken time to consider what will happen to it when you retire, become disabled, or pass away? Although it is often hard to fathom an event that may not occur for many years, it is important to put plans in place in advance. The failure to do so could result in the eventual loss of the business. There are several factors you should keep in mind in making plans for the future of your small business. Identify a successor(s). Many small business owners plan to transfer their business to a…

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guardianship and incompetency

Legal Guardianships And Incompetency In North Carolina

June 22, 2021

Guardianship is a process which establishes a legal relationship between a capable adult, agency, or qualified organization and an incompetent person, in order to protect that person. The guardian represents a person in decision-making when they are unable to make decisions on their own. The North Carolina Judicial Branch defines it as “a legal relationship in which a person is appointed by the court to make decisions and act on behalf of a person who does not have adequate capacity to make such decisions involving the management of personal affairs, property, or both.”  The role of a guardian can fluctuate…

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