434 Fayetteville St.
Suite 2135
Raleigh, NC 27601

(919) 821-1860pherring@weputfamiliesfirst.com

What is Estate Planning in N.C. and Why Do You Need It?

Wills, trusts and estates planning is an important legal step to take, no matter where you are in your life. If you think you don’t need to prepare any of these legal documents because of your age, health or situation, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Wills and estate planning in North Carolina is more than just a legal step taken by those who are sick or anticipating the end to their life. No matter what your health or age, will and trust estate planning allows you to plan for your loved ones in the event of your death or if you become incapacitated. Although many of us do not like thinking about it, death is inevitable, and it is better to plan ahead than leave these preparations to the last minute — or even worse, not at all. At the very least, you should have a simple will that distributes your assets accordingly and names a guardian and backup guardian for your minor children.

If you haven’t taken any steps toward wills, trusts and estates planning and you’re not sure where to start, contact the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC today. Our wills and estates attorneys can help you evaluate your personal situation and determine which estate proceedings and planning will best meet your needs and goals. To learn more today, please call our office at 919-821-1860.

Why You Needs Wills and Estate Planning in N.C.

Often, when younger adults think about wills and estate planning in North Carolina, they don’t see it as a necessary legal step for them. Being young and healthy, they tend to overlook the fact that they could die unexpectedly and, therefore, invoke risk by putting off their estate proceedings for years to come.

However, everyone — especially those with a large estate and a family — should take the steps to create a will of estate. If you die without a valid will, you die intestate, and your loved ones will be subject to the intestacy laws of the state of North Carolina (or the state in which you reside at your death). If this happens, the state will determine how the assets of your estate are to be distributed regardless of your desires. If you are not prepared, the loved ones you leave behind will pay the price.

Planning ahead will give you peace of mind and will prevent your loved ones from encountering difficult situations during an already emotional and stressful time. Every person is unique, and your estate plan must address your specific goals and reflect your personal wishes and circumstances.

If you have already created an estate plan, it is important to review your living estate will every couple of years and make any changes necessary to protect your desires. Estate planning cannot be “one and done”; wills and other estate planning documents have to be revised with life-changing events, such as the addition of children to your family, marriage and divorce, in order to keep your estate plan in line with your wishes.

What are the Different Aspects of Estate Planning?

The term “wills and estate planning” encompasses many legal steps involved with end-of-life preparation and planning. Which services you may or may not need will depend upon your personal situation and estate planning goals. An estates attorney (like those at the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC) can guide you through each legal aspect to determine if they are necessary for your current stage of will and estate planning in North Carolina.

In general, estate planning involves these legal documents and processes:

  • Creating a will (simple or complex)
  • Setting up trusts for minor children
  • Establishing a guardian for minor children
  • Naming an executor of the estate document to oversee terms of the will in the probate process
  • Setting up funeral arrangements
  • Creating or updating beneficiaries on life insurance, IRAs and 401(k) plans
  • Establishing annual gifting to reduce your taxable estate
  • Establishing a power of attorney for other assets and investments

Estate planning can seem complex but, when you seek out estate planning advice, your attorney will help you complete only the legal steps that are necessary in your situation. As mentioned, will, trusts and estates will usually need to be updated with major life changes like births, deaths and marriages, so establishing a relationship early with a lawyer experienced in estate and trust law will be the best way to protect your family should the unthinkable happen.

How Our Law Firm Can Assist with Your Estate Planning

Whatever kind of estate proceedings your personal situation requires, you can always contact the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC for legal advice and guidance. We can assist you through the drafting of any documents needed for your estate, trusts and wills to ensure your rights and interests will be protected.

We can also help you maintain control over your financial matters and healthcare by preparing additional will and trusts estate planning documents in advance, such as a durable power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney and a living will. These documents allow you to choose in advance who you want to make financial and healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to do so in the future.

We would love to help you prepare a basic will or a simple estate plan that carries out your wishes and protects your family. We offer reasonable flat fees for couples and individuals. You can also call our office anytime at 919-821-1860 to schedule a consultation.