Estate Planning, An Overview

Few things are more important than estate planning in Raleigh, NC. An estate plan determines who will receive your possessions after your death. It also may determine how much of your property and possessions will go to the government in taxes, as well as, which property will pass through probate.

Estate Planning in Raleigh, NC: An Overview

Almost everyone has some kind of an estate and regardless of how large or small it may be it is important to have an estate plan.  Those that make the mistake of ignoring this or refusing to develop an estate plan can leave behind problems after they’ve passed. Creating an estate plan is important. Items may need to be documented and someone may be appointed to be in control of your estate after you’re gone.  If you don’t create an estate plan before you pass away, the contents of your estate may fall into the hands of the government or someone other than your close loved ones.

Perhaps the most obvious way of creating and executing an estate plan is by meeting with an attorney in Raleigh, NC. Prior to meeting with that attorney, you should have as near complete understanding of your assets, as well as your ultimate goals and wishes. While meeting with the attorney, it may be beneficial to keep an open mind. Although you may wish to proceed in a certain manner, an estate attorney may know of more efficient and effective means of procuring your goals. Feel free to contact Klish and Eldreth, PLLC, with any questions you may have about the estate planning process.

If you want to make sure your estate requests are fulfilled, you and your attorney may need to create specific instructions, declaring who receives what, and so forth.  Together, you may also want to plan out how your estate is handled. Estate planning in Raleigh, NC may include the following:

Estate Tax Planning: Even when you pass on, taxes may apply to your estate. It’s important to consider this in your estate plan. If you don’t consider estate taxes, your spouse and children may receive less.

Account for the Assets Present: Estate planning in Raleigh, NC should include what should be done with retirement benefits, life insurance, interests in closely held businesses, interests in a professional practice, or other types of assets.

Gifting Techniques: Should you choose to gift your family members or friends with the belongings of your estate, you should account for this within your estate plan. If you choose to leave money or belongings to charity, you must also specify that in your estate plan. Anything you choose to “give away” should be considered and designated within the estate plan.

Responsible Persons: You may designate an executor or trustee to take control of your estate or trust once it goes through the probate process. The importance of this person is paramount, as they should be reliable, have expertise, and integrity. As an attorney, I’ve seen multiple instances where an executor or trustee was chosen for all the wrong reasons. Occasionally, a parent may choose a son or daughter just so that feelings will not be hurt. Sometimes a trust creator will choose a sibling simply because that sibling dotes over the beneficiaries. Too often, people fail to appoint an executor or trustee based upon the designated person’s discretion, trustworthiness, and financial sense.

Essentially, getting your assets in order, deciding who gets what, and who manages an estate or trust, is the biggest part of estate planning in Raleigh, NC. Although it seems perfectly simple, there may be some factors to consider before jumping into planning. For more information on estate planning and how to create a sound plan, visit back with our attorney in Raleigh NC, very soon. This is the first in a series of estate planning posts. We hope to help you understand the ins and outs of estate planning and why having a complete estate plan is important.

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