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Estate, Trust & Probate Blog

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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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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 Ambiguous or Outdated Wills Issue: One of the most common issues in estate disputes arises from wills that are either ambiguously worded or outdated.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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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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Trustee paperwork

What are the Duties of a Trustee? (how to choose one)

May 16, 2023

Any adult aged 18 and older should consider creating a comprehensive estate plan. It does not matter how much wealth you have or if you have a family, although having children and a spouse definitely does merit an even greater need to establish an estate plan if one has not been made. Estate planning is so significant because most people want to know that when they pass on, what they have amassed in their life will go directly to the beneficiaries they intend their wealth and assets to.  Not all estate plans are the same, and each individual has their…

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Using Estate Planning To Support Charitable Causes

April 12, 2023

An important part of estate planning for many people is making sure that their money will continue to make a difference after their death. There are several options in North Carolina to put your estate’s resources to work for charities or other organizations that mean a lot to you. It’s important to note that the specific benefits of charitable giving can depend on your individual circumstances, such as your tax situation and the charities or organizations you choose to support. The Benefits Of Charitable Estate Planning Charitable giving allows you to support causes and organizations that are important to you…

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Guarantees When You Do Not Have a Power of Attorney or Advance Directive

March 14, 2023

Let’s face it: nobody wants to think about a situation where they are unable to make decisions for themselves and need someone to make decisions for them. Incapacity due to illness, injury, or other unpredictable situations can happen to any of us, however. When a devastating event occurs, it is crucial to have steps in place that allow our family and friends to step in and do what is right for us.  In North Carolina, powers of attorney and health care powers of attorney exist to help people through life’s most challenging situations. Estate planning attorneys such as David E.…

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Duties of Your Executor/Personal Representative in North Carolina

February 16, 2023

When someone passes away, their assets and property must be distributed according to their wishes as outlined in their will or according to North Carolina intestate laws if the person dies without a will.  In this article, our North Carolina estate planning attorney at David Anderson, PLLC, will discuss the duties of an NC executor or personal representative in sharing assets and also touch on relevant statutes that you need to know. What is an Executor/Personal Representative? An executor is a person appointed in a will to manage the distribution of a deceased person’s assets and property. An administrator is…

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