Who Should Be Concerned About Estate Taxes?

While some states levy either estate taxes on the deceased person’s estate or inheritance taxes on the heirs, neither North Carolina or South Carolina have these taxes. You will not have to worry about state estate taxes unless you inherit assets from someone who lived in a state with an inheritance tax. Federal estate taxes (more…)

How to Choose an Executor for Your Estate

Serving as the executor of the estate can be a significant responsibility. The executor—also referred to as a personal representative, is generally charged with the following tasks: Preparing funeral arrangements for the deceased person Gathering all assets of the estate Paying off all creditors of the estate Distributing assets to heirs Depending on the size (more…)

How to Contest a Will in North Carolina

Potential heirs are sometimes surprised to find that they are not receiving the amount or type of property they anticipated from a deceased relative’s estate. If the decedent lacked testamentary capacity or was improperly influenced to change their will, there may be cause to bring an action to contest the validity of the will. North (more…)

Testamentary Capacity Laws in North Carolina

Any person of sound mind at age 18 years or older may make a will in North Carolina. § 31-1. Most wills go through probate without any disputes or contested issues. However, in some cases there may be some disagreements over the validity of the will and which heirs be entitled to certain property. A (more…)

What Happens to a Deceased Person’s Bank Account?

How a deceased person’s bank account will be treated after they pass will depend on how they owned the account. Several different questions need to be answered in order to determine who gets the bank account funds, including: Was the deceased person the sole owner of the account? Is there a named beneficiary? Did the (more…)

Why Unmarried Partners Need Estate Planning

Some couples choose to live together and act as a married couple without ever officially tying the knot. Sometimes this is a calculated decision, while other times the couple just doesn’t particularly care about making their marriage official. Whatever the reasons, it’s important to understand that unmarried partners are treated differently under the law than (more…)

Some Property Bequests Aren’t Affected by Your Will

A properly executed will is perhaps the most important piece of your estate plan. It determines what happens to your property after you pass away and makes sure your last wishes are carried out. However, there are some limits to what a will can accomplish. One of these limitations occurs when you have property that (more…)

How Living Trusts Are Used to Avoid Probate

Living trusts are a common estate planning tools used to accomplish various objectives. One of the main reasons people used living trusts is to keep certain property out of probate court or avoid the need to go through probate entirely. North Carolina has a simplified probate procedure for small estates. If a living trust contains (more…)

My Love One Died and Their Will Is Different Than Expected

When a Loved One Passes When a loved one dies, the last thing that likely crosses your mind is what their will says. Throughout their lives you may have spoken about what happens when die and what they may be planning on leaving you, but unless you have seen their will, you will never know (more…)

North Carolina Intestacy Laws: When a Deceased Person Had No Will

Many people never take the time to create a valid will and pass away without naming their heirs. These individuals are said to have died intestate, meaning that they had no will. In these cases, the North Carolina intestacy laws will control how their property is distributed among their heirs. When Intestacy Laws Apply Wills (more…)