Estate Planning Attorney in Angier, NC

 
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It may seem morbid to think about end-of-life issues, especially if you’re starting a family or new career. You’re probably more concerned with your child’s college education and when you can retire. Your will, living will, powers of attorney, and other estate planning matters may not be at the forefront of your mind. However, you put your interests and your family’s well-being in jeopardy if you don’t consider what would happen if you’re not around.

With the help of an Angier wills & power of attorney lawyer, you can take control over your future.Angier family lawyer Jonathan Breeden is happy to review your situation, explain your options, and draft the proper documents. He has accumulated considerable legal knowledge in wills and powers of attorney in his years of experience as an attorney in Harnett County.

To schedule an initial evaluation of your case, contact Breeden Law Office at (919) 809-6599.

Wills in Harnett County, NC

Your will is a document you execute to state your wishes on how you want your assets to be distributed upon your death. There are certain requirements to create a valid will, which is why it’s important to get assistance from a will lawyer. However, if you do it right, the provisions are very difficult for someone else to contest when you die. Some additional considerations may help you understand the legal implications and benefits of a will.

Your will is used as a tool to give your assets to your intended beneficiaries. As testator, you designate an executor to engage in the tasks as required to wrap up your final affairs. That person will be in charge of paying off your debts, selling assets according to your directions, and distributing your property to named individuals. Your will may cover various assets you hold as an individual, as opposed to jointly with another person, such as:

  • Bank and investment accounts
  • Stock portfolios
  • Insurance policies
  • Interests in a business
  • Real estate
  • Vehicles
  • Artwork and jewelry

If you have questions or concerns regarding naming an executor, what assets to include on a will, or other related issues, contact an Angier wills & power of attorney lawyer for help today.

Reasons to Execute a Will

Many people assume that you need to be rich to execute a will, but that’s not true in most cases. Regardless of the value of your estate, a will offers significant benefits, including:

Giving You Control

If you die without a will, the situation is coined “intestacy” under state law. Any assets you own are distributed according to state laws of intestate succession, so your spouse, children, parents, siblings, and further distant relatives may receive portions of your estate.

Without a will, you have no control over who gets your assets. In addition, you cannot make specific bequeaths to non-related individuals or charities if you desire to help.

Reducing Disputes

When you make decisions regarding the distribution of your assets during your lifetime, there are less likely to be arguments among your loved ones. Though they may disagree, anyone you eliminate from your will may decide against fighting a prolonged legal battle.

Helping if You Have Interests in a Business

Your passing can have a significant impact on your business if you don’t have a plan in place through your will. Of course, it’s important to discuss your intentions and plan with other business partners, but a will can play a key role in continuity for your company. You can designate how your stake in the business is handled upon your death, such as reverting back to the organization, or passing to a chosen successor.

Providing for Minor Children

It may be tough to face the fact that you could leave behind minor children, but it’s worse to think about what would happen if you don’t indicate your wishes. Through your will, you can state who should care for them and how they can be supported, which is especially important if there’s no other parent in the picture.

Helping Reduce Taxes and Costs

Though tax laws are subject to change, a considerable estate can result in a significant portion of your assets going to the government through taxes. Along with other estate planning tools, you can plan gifts and use other channels to protect as must of your property as possible.

There are many additional advantages to gain by executing a will, especially if you coordinate other aspects of your estate plan to work with it. An Angier wills & power of attorney lawyer can explain how to coordinate different documents and legal components.

Living Wills

Otherwise known as an advance directive, a living will is an important document while you’re still alive. The point of a living will is to state your intentions about certain forms of medical treatment if you’re unable to express your wishes yourself.

A living will is a set of directions that applies to physicians and other health care providers that may be treating you under certain circumstances. You can provide instructions through your living will when you cannot do so yourself, such as when:

  • You suffer from a terminal illness or medical condition that may lead to death
  • You have dementia with a limited prognosis for recovery
  • You’re in a coma due to an accident or another emergency, and it’s not likely that you’ll ever regain consciousness
  • Other circumstances render you physically, mentally, cognitively, or otherwise unable to make decisions regarding your care

Your living will incorporates general information on the types of care you approve or disapprove, or it can include specifics on whether you would accept certain forms of treatment. Through your living will, you can state whether you consent to:

  • A feeding tube or IV for purposes of hydration and sustenance
  • Artificial means of respiration
  • Technologies that support your cognitive or bodily functions
  • Other means of life support

It’s common to think of executing a living will if you’re reaching a certain age or have been diagnosed with a medical condition. The truth is that you can benefit from creating an advance directive at any point in your life. A living will ensures your wishes regarding medical treatment, life support, and resuscitation are clear – and legally mandatory.

An Angier wills & power of attorney lawyer will assist you with explaining your options regarding advance directives and understanding the implications of your choices.

Using Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Financial Needs

By executing a power of attorney, you can appoint someone as an agent, and grant them the authority to make decisions for you if you are unable to do so. Though you would probably consider these documents as part of an estate plan, they become effective during your lifetime. This is typically due to a surprise event, such as incapacity. A probate attorney can explain the details and benefits of these documents.

Types of Powers of Attorney

There are different types of legal powers you can grant to another person, including:

  • Durable Power of Attorney – Under this arrangement, you grant your agent the power to manage your financial affairs, real estate, and personal property. By its terms, this power of attorney takes effect if you’re not capable of making prudent decisions because of an accident or illness.
  • Health Care Power of Attorney – This power of attorney gives your agent the authority to make medical decisions for you under certain designated circumstances. Your agent can communicate and interact with health care providers, and give consent to surgery, procedures, or other treatments.
  • Minor Power of Attorney – In some situations, a parent may need another person to manage medical needs and care for a child. In this case, designating a minor power of attorney would be extremely beneficial.

Why You Should Take Advantage of Powers of Attorney

The key advantage of executing a power of attorney is that you may avoid going through costly, time-consuming probate court proceedings to have a guardian appointed. The process of guardianship requires someone to file a petition, have you adjudicated as incompetent, and go through a court hearing. Only then will that person be authorized to act for you on health care and financial decisions. You can bypass the process and have control over who becomes your agent by executing powers of attorney.

An Angier wills & power of attorney lawyer can review your situation and provide more details on the differences among various powers of attorney. With the help of an experienced advocate, you can make the right choices regarding which arrangements will be the best fit for your needs.

Angier, NC Estate Planning Resources & Information

North Carolina probate is a straightforward process when an estate’s not large or complex; however, you should contact our office before trying to tackle this yourself. Even if the deceased doesn’t have a will, the probate process may still be necessary.

Probate court proceedings are needed when the deceased owned assets in only their name. Other assets are usually transferred to new owners without the probate process.

Local Courts

The Harnett County Superior Court handles estates and wills of Angier residents, Estates/Special Proceedings Division, on 301 West Cornelius Harnett Blvd. in Lillington. You can reach them at 910-814-4640.

To obtain file access or official copies of documents, you can email the Division’s Court Clerk Supervisor, Sandra B. Paye, at Sandra.B.Paye@nccourts.org. If you want to visit the office in person, you should call and secure an appointment by calling her at 910-814-4581.

Harnett County Estate Planning Forms & Documents

The Harnett County Estates/Special Proceedings Division has some information that can be used for estates and wills. The state of North Carolina also offers guidance and several forms online:

Beginning the Estate Process and Estate Procedural Guide

These resources break down the estate process, giving you a checklist of procedures and the documents needed to begin the process.

Estate Procedures for Executors, Administrators, Collectors by Affidavit, and Summary Administration

This booklet offers an overview of North Carolina estate administration.

Inventory for Decedent’s Estate form

One of the most essential probate functions is finding and organizing the estate’s assets, which are listed on this form.

Affidavit of Notice to Creditors form

If you provided notice of the probate process to the estate’s creditors, this needs to be detailed on this form.

Final/Annual Account form

You would list a complete account of receipts, disbursements, and other transactions during probate.

Application Guidelines for a Testate Full Estate with Application for Probate & Letters

These documents include four forms for the process.

Administration by the Clerk

Used if the Decedent had less than $5,000 in bank accounts and other liquid assets administered by the clerk.

Guidelines for Starting Small Estate Application

This includes two forms. Not all estates must go through the entire probate process, including a small estate where the total assets are worth $20,000 or less in gross value.

A streamlined process also handles estates where the spouse will receive all the assets and where the estate only has enough money to cover funeral and burial costs. There may be other small estate options depending on the estate’s circumstances.

Application and Assignment of Year’s Allowance

Used to obtain the first $60,000 for the spouse and $5,000 for each eligible child. It can be used to access money from the estate if the process is longer than expected.

Check out more probate forms that are available on the state’s Judicial Branch’s website.

Why You Need an Estate Planning Lawyer

There’s no time like the present to begin thinking about estate planning options. Without a will in place, you have no input over what happens to your home and personal property when you die. Even during your lifetime, you may become incapacitated due to illness or injury. Unless you make proper arrangements with a power of attorney, there may be significant uncertainty about your health care and financial decisions.

Discuss Your Needs with an Angier Wills & Power of Attorney Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Breeden knows the laws and legal strategies to help you achieve the goals you envision for end-of-life matters. He understands that planning for your own death and incapacity is a sensitive subject, which is why he strives to make the topic comfortable through compassionate legal guidance. He brings considerable experience to the table, so you know your future is in good hands.

To schedule a case consultation with an Angier wills & power of attorney lawyer, contact Breeden Law Office at (919) 809-6599.

Call Breeden Law Office today:

(919) 296-3978
 
 

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