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Estate, Trust & Probate Blog

probate checklist

How Easy Is It To Change My Will?

January 3, 2022

Having a valid will in place is essential for planning your estate effectively. When you create and sign a will, it indicates your intentions at the moment. However, your wishes or intentions might change in the future, requiring you to update your current will regarding your estate plan.  It’s, therefore, necessary for people to create a new will, revoke/change, or update their current will in certain situations. Still, it’s also important that the legal process is followed. Here are the common reasons that could require you to change your estate plan and how easy or difficult the process is. Common…

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estate law changes

A Summary Of Upcoming Proposed Estate Law Changes

December 17, 2021

In light of the global pandemic and its impact on the US economy, President Biden’s administration has proposed legislation with the goal of starting to build back the economy. The legislation, dubbed the “Build Back Better Plan,” seeks to employ a bottom-up strategy focusing on improving the living standards of the middle-class population.  The strategy involves providing funding for Coronavirus relief, infrastructure, social services, welfare, and reducing the impact of climate change. The Biden administration proposed a plan to fund the Build Back Better strategy by changing estate laws. While the proposed plan is still in negotiation, here’s what the…

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special needs estate planning

Protecting Children With Special Needs In Estate Planning

December 13, 2021

As the parent or guardian of a child with special needs, one of your concerns may be ensuring your estate plan protects their financial future. Leaving a lump-sum inheritance can affect eligibility for government assistance programs, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income. Creating a special needs trust shields the beneficiary’s assets, allowing them to qualify for much-needed benefits. North Carolina law permits three types of special needs trusts. What are the Three Types of Special Needs Trusts Available in North Carolina? Self-Settled Special Needs Trust Also known as a first-party SNT, the self-settled SNT is established using the disabled…

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pet trust

Protecting Your Pets With A Pet Trust

December 1, 2021

Pets are an important part of our families. The American Animal Hospital Association estimates that nearly 80% of US households have at least one pet, and about 43% consider their pets to be members of the family. Pets provide unconditional love, companionship, and security for many people in this world who might otherwise be lonely or feel unsafe. They also encourage exercise and good health through regular walks outdoors. And they can bring joy into our lives by simply being there with us every day. A pet trust is a legal arrangement that allows you to make sure your pet…

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What Happens To Your Digital Assets When You Die?

September 22, 2021

Today’s world is moving more and more to digital assets – some, more traditional, like online bank accounts, social media or websites. And, some more on the cutting edge of technology, like cryptocurrencies, NFTs and more.  A common question that is coming up in our estate planning discussions is what happens to all of those assets when you die? Can you put them in a Will or other common estate planning structure? We address all that and more below. What Types Of Digital Assets Do You Have? Although you may initially think you have a limited amount of digital assets…

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Can A Minor Inherit Real Property?

September 13, 2021

If you have children, are you planning on them inheriting property in your estate after your passing? Although there is no rule prohibiting a minor as an heir in a Will, many people are unaware that children can not inherit property before they turn 18 years of age. If you pass away before one of your children becomes an adult, though, there are steps you can take to ensure their future is secure. To help you make an informed decision, here are some of the options you have at your disposal to pass on assets and property to a minor.…

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The Potential Pitfalls Of DIY Estate Planning

August 26, 2021

Estate planning is a critical step to provide for your family’s future needs. You want to make sure to secure their future, and ensure that your wealth is distributed according to your wishes. Depending on the complexity of your estate, you may be tempted to give it a shot yourself instead of hiring an experienced estate planning attorney. While it may look attractive on the surface, DIY estate planning comes with some significant risks. Let’s take a deeper look at why having an estate planning professional on your side during the process may actually save you money! Simple Mistakes Can…

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will contest

Four Reasons Your Will May Be Contested in Court

August 16, 2021

Having an updated last will and testament is more important than ever, especially now. However, a will that is poorly created or not frequently updated can be vulnerable to challenge by caveat. What is a caveat? A caveat is a will contest filed with the Clerk of Court and heard by a Superior Court Jury. It is the formal objection to a will’s validity because it either: a) does not reflect the wishes of the person who created the will, or b) because the will does not meet legal standards.  Will contests should be avoided at all costs. Not only…

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Are Out-Of-State Estate Planning Documents Valid In NC?

August 10, 2021

We frequently receive calls inquiring about whether out-of-state estate planning documents are valid in North Carolina. The short answer is likely yes. A typical comprehensive plan should include a will, power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney and living will. It is also common to have a trust that is “located” in another state and relies on that state’s laws for its governance.Estate planning documents are controlled by state law and common law. Common laws are laws derived from judicial decisions, rather than state statutes. The same holds true for probate and estate administration. Therefore, it is recommended that you…

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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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