If you own a home, business, or real property in Waynesville, have more than $20,000 in assets, or want to ensure your treasured possessions are given to specific individuals after you pass, writing a valid will and exploring placing property in trust makes good sense. An experienced Waynesville wills and trusts lawyer at King Law can help. We are a preeminent law firm that has advised generations of North Carolinians in estate planning matters. Contact us to learn what we can do for you.
What Is a Will and Why Do You Need One?
A will, also known as a Last Will and Testament, is a document that instructs how your assets—including real estate, automobiles, money, investments, or personal possessions—will be distributed after your death. Anyone age 18 or older and of sound mind may make a will. North Carolina law treats the wishes expressed in a valid will as legally binding and enforceable.
You need a will because, without one, North Carolina statutes decide what happens to your property when you die instead of you. In addition, the process of distributing your assets without a will can be far more complicated, time-consuming, and upsetting for your grieving loved ones than if you leave clear instructions. In that sense, preparing a will benefits you and those you care most about.
What Is a Trust and Why Might You Need One?
A trust is a legal arrangement in which one person (a settlor) transfers ownership of their property to a second person or entity (a trustee) to use and manage for a third person’s benefit (a beneficiary). In the context of wills and estate planning, a trust is a tool for distributing your property and directing how it should be used during your lifetime and after you pass away. In contrast to a probate court overseeing the distribution of your assets according to your will (which becomes a public document), forming and operating a trust also involves no court supervision and maintains your privacy. In addition, some types of trusts can have significant tax advantages.
The popular notion of trusts is that they are useful only for high-net-worth individuals. That is not entirely accurate. Trusts are undoubtedly helpful—even essential—for responsibly distributing large estates. For instance, an experienced Waynesville wills and trusts lawyer may advise that you need a trust when you own significant assets that require active management, such as large investment portfolios, real estate holdings, or ownership interests in a business.
Trusts can also benefit people of more modest means in accomplishing specific estate planning aims. For example, a trust can help a group of siblings coordinate the maintenance of a family home for an elderly or ailing parent. Parents of minor children also frequently establish trusts to ensure, in the event of their deaths, the responsible use and management of their property or life insurance proceeds for the children’s benefit until (or even after) the children reach adulthood. Speak with a knowledgeable Waynesville wills and trusts lawyer at King Law today to discover the potential benefits of forming a trust as part of your estate plan.
The Advantage of Hiring a Waynesville, NC Wills & Trusts Lawyer
It is possible to write a will without the help of a Waynesville wills and trusts attorney, but it’s also risky. Under North Carolina law, the content of a will must meet specific requirements to be valid, and it is easy to make a costly mistake if a wills and trusts lawyer in Waynesville does not do the drafting.
Beyond satisfying those formalities, experienced Waynesville wills and trusts lawyers have years of experience and insight they can share with their clients. A wills and trusts lawyer can assist you in deciding what property and subjects to cover in a will, who to appoint as an executor, and how to direct the distribution of specific assets. A wills and trusts attorney can also explain and prepare companion documents that often accompany wills, such as powers of attorney and healthcare directives.
You will also unquestionably need an experienced wills and trusts lawyer in Waynesville, NC to determine if your estate plan should include a trust and, if so, prepare one. Trusts are sophisticated legal arrangements governed by particular laws. They can have considerable tax implications depending on how they’re structured. It takes a estate planning lawyer’s careful analysis to determine the appropriate form of trust to meet your estate planning needs, and a wills and trusts lawyer’s skill and resources to oversee the transfer of assets into a trust and the accurate and complete documentation of its terms.
In short, to ensure you have an effective estate plan that is legally compliant and enforceable, that addresses all your wishes for handling your estate after you pass, and that simplifies things for your loved ones, your safest bet is to seek the services of an experienced Waynesville wills and trusts attorney.
Contact an Experienced Waynesville Wills & Trusts Lawyer Today
Estate planning gives you control over your legacy and relieves your loved ones of the significant emotional and logistical burden of deciding how to distribute your assets and possessions after you pass. Everyone should have a will that expresses their final wishes. Other means of estate planning, such as a trust, may also suit your needs and give you additional comfort that your death will not create unnecessary difficulty or expense for those left behind.
Talking to an experienced Waynesville wills and trusts lawyer at King Law is a practical step you can take today toward formulating an estate plan that works for you and your family. We have decades of combined experience advising clients on and preparing customized wills, trusts, and other estate planning instruments to fit their circumstances and priorities. Call us at (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING for a consultation with a knowledgeable Waynesville wills and trusts lawyer. You can also contact us online.