Why is Estate Planning Important?
Many people mistakenly think that estate planning is only important for the very wealthy or the very old, but you do yourself a disservice when you adopt this attitude. Estate planning provides you with a mechanism to better provide for your family if tragedy should strike and to ensure your hard-earned assets go where you intend them to go. Without having done some estate planning beforehand, your family will be required to go through the complicated process of probate just when they’re at their most vulnerable. If you have questions about estate planning, an experienced estate planning attorney in North Carolina can help.
A will is a legally enforceable tool used in estate planning that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed upon your death. Wills have the important advantage of allowing you to appoint guardianship of your children in the unlikely event that you and their other parent are both gone. In absence of a will or other arrangement, your assets will be distributed according to your state’s laws on intestate succession, which may or may not align with your wishes.
Your will can also delineate how you want specific portions of your will to pass to your minor children, which allows you to spell out your wishes to the judge directly. Finally, a will allows you to provide succinct direction regarding how you would like your assets to be handled by your beneficiaries. A will, in other words, allows you to direct the flow of your estate into the lives of your beneficiaries and allows you to address the important matter of guardianship, which can provide you with invaluable peace of mind.
A trust is another important facet of estate planning, and it describes a fiduciary arrangement in which you transfer the authority to handle your estate to someone else – upon your death – as a means of providing for your beneficiaries. While there are many kinds of trusts, they generally fall into one of two basic categories, including:
- Living trusts
- Testamentary trusts (a testamentary trust generally comports with your will)
A living trust simply means that you created it while you were alive and that it contains information about how you wish your estate to be distributed upon your death – when the trust goes into effect. With a living trust, your beneficiaries will face no court costs and won’t be delayed by the probate process – instead, your assets will go directly to whomever you’ve assigned them to, and you will have relieved your loved ones of considerable burden.
Consult with an Experienced North Carolina Estate Planning Attorney Today
Estate planning is a complicated but critical legal matter that can help protect your family after your death. Because the tools used in estate planning are legal documents, ensuring that they accurately reflect your intentions – and comport with state laws – is essential, and the dedicated estate planning attorneys at King Law Firm in North Carolina are here to help. Our experienced legal team is committed to helping you establish the estate planning tools you need to help protect your family’s welfare into the future. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us today.