Estate planning with Milestones Law covers everything from a basic will to setting up a trust to protect your assets.
It may include setting up a living will so your end-of-life wishes are known, a healthcare power of attorney should you be unable to make decisions about your own care, a financial power of attorney so a trusted party may make financial decisions on your behalf. If you are caring for a loved one with special needs, it may also include structuring a special needs trust to ensure they are cared for even after you are gone. Every adult, regardless of age or financial situation, should have an estate plan in place, and every time you reach a new milestone in your life, you should review that plan and update it, as required.
If you die without a will in North Carolina (referred to as ‘dying intestate’), property where a beneficiary has not been designated will be distributed based on current state law. In many cases, this is not how you want your assets distributed. A will provides instructions to the probate court and ensures your wishes are carried out. Updating your will as your life changes can avoid challenges later.
A trust may be a good option to protect your assets for your heirs.
Several types of trusts exist, so it is a good idea to speak with an estate planning attorney to decide what will work best for your situation. Another benefit of a trust: after your death, a trust may be much easier for your executor to manage from another state.
Do your loved ones know what medical care you want if you are unable to tell them?
If you are seriously injured or become incapacitated due to illness, who do you want to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf? Advance directives are legal documents that outline your desires. These critical documents can make a stressful situation easier for your family members and help ensure your wishes are carried out. Advance directives include powers of attorney, mental treatment directives, and living wills. We recommend every adult in North Carolina have these documents completed and available for their loved ones to access. You may also choose to provide your healthcare providers with copies. The State of North Carolina even offers a registry where current versions of the documents may be maintained online for a fee.
For those named Executor of an estate, we can guide you through all the steps in the process of closing the estate. Let us help you through.