Is a Will a Substitute for a Power of Attorney?

Different documents have different purposes as part of your estate plan. A will is not a substitute for a power of attorney because each document is designed to accomplish a different objective. If you have a will, that’s a good first step to making sure your family is taken care of if something happens to (more…)

What Are Durable and Healthcare Powers of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the power to make decisions on your behalf. These powers are used to save your family time and money if you ever become incapacitated or mentally incapable of handling your own affairs. Durable powers of attorney and healthcare powers of attorney have different (more…)

Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts

Revocable and irrevocable trusts have different benefits and uses as part of your comprehensive estate plan. As will all estate planning matters, you should consult with an estate planning attorney before creating a trust to make sure you are considering all of the legal consequences and carrying out your intentions properly. The Difference Between Revocable (more…)

Funeral Expenses and Your Will

A failure to properly plan for your funeral arrangements can leave your loved ones with a financial burden. North Carolina law provides for the payment of funeral expenses out of your estate, but there are monetary limits that may only cover a fraction of your funeral expenses. §28A-19-6. You should consider including provisions that modify (more…)

Why You Need a Residuary Estate Clause

A residuary estate clause controls what happens to all property not specifically listed in your will. Every will should include this clause, even if you believe that you have listed each piece of property you own in your will. A Residuary Clause Makes Your Will More Durable While some people may simply leave an equal (more…)

North Carolina’s Anti-Lapse Statute

North Carolina’s anti-lapse statute determines what happens to your property when your intended heir passes away before you do. § 31-42. There are basically three types of situations covered by the anti-lapse statute, depending on who the intended heir was and whether you have a residuary clause in your will. When the Heir is Your (more…)

How to Revoke a Prior Will

Whenever you create a new will and follow the appropriate steps to legally validate the will, your prior will becomes revoked. Any bequests or other items in your prior will no longer have any legal enforceability. However, you want to be clear whenever you revoke a will. A problem can arise when multiple wills exist (more…)

How to Choose a Trustee

If you create a trust as part of your estate plan, you will also need to choose a trustee. In simple terms, the trustee is in charge of the trust and must follow the instructions in the trust document when investing, protecting, or distributing trust assets. Considerations When Choosing a Trustee There are many different (more…)

Can You Name Co-Executors for Your Estate?

North Carolina law allows you to name multiple executors for your estate. Parents with more than one child may sometimes wish to name co-executors to avoid hurt feelings caused by choosing one child over the other. However, there are some downsides to naming co-executors that should be considered before using this method of estate administration. (more…)

State Residency and Your Estate

One life event that could impact your estate plan may surprise you: moving to another state. Each state has its own laws regarding probate, estate taxes, inheritance taxes, and other matters impacting your state. When you move, you should consider talking to an estate planning attorney about how this could affect your will and overall (more…)