Estate planning is the series of preparation tasks that serve to manage an individual’s assets in the event of their incapacity or death. Proper estate planning may involve the use of Wills and Trusts, as well as other documents such as Powers of Attorney, Health Care Powers of Attorney and Living Wills. Estate planning is a process, a process that is tailored to each client’s specific needs and goals. Everyone, regardless of personal wealth, should have an estate plan, even if it is a simple will. Call today to start your planning.
Wills and trusts serve many purposes. While a will can name a guardian to care for young children as well as a personal representative and trustee to manage your affairs after you pass away, it will also prevent the complicated, time consuming, and often costly proceedings that result from dying without a will.
There are more types of trusts than most people realize, each created with an eye toward addressing a particular situation, but all designed to protect your assets and your loved ones. The two basic types of trusts are: Revocable and Irrevocable. As their names indicate, the first type can be altered or even eliminated during your lifetime, while the second, once in place, cannot be changed absent court approval. Trusts are created for many reasons, including:
- Protecting your privacy
- Keeping your assets out of probate
- Protecting your funds from unnecessary taxation
- Controlling distributions to minors, spendthrifts, or incompetent beneficiaries
- Preserving disability benefits of a beneficiary
Types of trusts David E. Anderson, PLLC routinely creates include:
- Revocable living trusts
- Irrevocable trusts
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
- Standalone retirement trusts
Just as each type of trust has its own purpose, each has its own benefits and potential drawbacks. This is why it is essential to work with an experienced attorney when deciding which type is appropriate for you.
When you team up with David E. Anderson, PLLC protecting your assets becomes our priority. We know precisely which steps to take to defend your accumulated wealth from both external and internal attacks. Having assisted many other clients in their plan to protect their wealth, we are confident in our ability to assist you as well. We are fully prepared to set up trusts to keep your assets safe from lawsuits, creditors, excessive taxation, business disputes and from those who would contest your will or use your money to support addictions or extravagant habits. We can also help you in establishing an LLC to protect your personal finances from your business debts and liabilities.
Planning for Incapacity
Any well-constructed estate plan has to address the discomforting issue of future incapacity. While most of us would prefer to live to a ripe old age and die peacefully in our own beds, the reality is that most of us will suffer a period of incapacity in our later years.
Probate and Trust Administration
Probate is the legal process through which an estate is settled. While it is possible for a well-conceived estate plan to make probate in North Carolina totally unnecessary, in cases in which probate is required the process can take from 4 months to well over a year for estates
that are larger and more complex. If the deceased died intestate, a family member can petition the court to appoint a administrator to make sure state laws are followed. If the deceased person did leave a will, a personal representative may have already been named
to handle such matters.
If you are the party named or chosen as personal representative of the deceased, you will want to have a reliable, well-informed attorney at your side as you maneuver through the complicated pathways of probate and trust administration that will include some or all of the following:
• Applying to the court for appointment as Personal Representative
• Taking inventory of assets
• Having appraisals of valuable items
• Making legal notifications to creditors, insurance companies, and government agencies
• Distributing to beneficiaries and paying taxes and debts
• Preparing an accounting for the court of all sales, debt payments, income, etc.
As a personal representative you will have serious responsibilities and having the assistance of a knowledgeable professional will help shield you from making any costly legal or financial errors.
Stand-alone Retirement Trusts
David E. Anderson, PLLC can establish a Standalone Retirement Trust for you, which is a particular variety of revocable trust to hold your retirement assets. This will let your beneficiaries enjoy the benefit of retaining the assets in a tax-deferred environment for a longer period of time. I can even assist you in creating sub trusts within the trust for a number of different beneficiaries. As your competent attorney, I will make sure your trust is established correctly so that a sizable portion of your retirement account will not be lost to the government.