Smithfield Estate Planning Lawyer

An estate plan can help you plan for the future and eliminate unnecessary stress for your loved ones.

When you think of estate planning, you might believe that a will is the primary part. And while it is important, there are many other documents that can benefit your estate when you pass away or become incapacitated.

A trustworthy Smithfield estate planning lawyer at Breeden Law Office can help you get started with basic and complex documents today. Use our online contact form or call us at (919) 300-7290 to schedule a consultation about your estate plan.

Why Should You Hire an Estate Planning Attorney?

Working with an estate lawyer  in Johnston County will give you the peace of mind you and your loved ones need. Our Smithfield estate planning attorney at Breeden Law Office can help you with the following:

  • Establish a plan for who will control your finances and medical decisions if you become incapacitated
  • Determine your beneficiaries and how they can access your assets after you pass away
  • Decide how assets are distributed
  • Elect heirs and beneficiaries
  • Create generational wealth for your family

How Our Estate Planning Attorneys Help You

No matter where you are in the estate planning process, an attorney can handle the complex issues involved in creating a plan for the future. While you are not required to use an attorney to develop an estate plan or draft a will, you may fall into the trap of leaving out property or people without the help of an experienced legal professional.

A primary goal when working with an estate attorney is determining what to do with your assets and who will have control over your property. An experienced lawyer will provide options on how to plan for the end of your life and your loved ones in the future.

If you have minor children, an estate planning lawyer can help you select potential guardians and set up trusts for their future. You don’t want to leave them without sufficient protection in the event that you can no longer provide for them.

Benefits of an Estate Plan

You may be unsure about whether an estate plan is necessary. Some of the benefits of an estate plan include avoiding the probate process and unnecessary taxes.

Without an estate plan, your property will be subject to the intestate laws of Smithfield, North Carolina. That means a court will decide who receives your assets. The process can be extremely time-consuming and may not consider the best interests of your loved ones.

An estate plan can also eliminate disputes among family members. Your loved ones will be aware of your wishes and the court will enforce anything you’ve established in final documents, such as a last will and testament.

Estate taxes can also be excessive in some situations. You have the power to develop a plan for your matters that can avoid some of the most expensive fees and taxes.

Our Estate Planning Legal Services in Smithfield

The Smithfield estate planning lawyer at Breeden Law Office can help you protect your assets, develop a plan for your loved ones, and ensure your end-of-life documents are thoroughly completed. Your estate plan will be legally valid and enforceable if you become incapacitated or pass away.

We offer a variety of estate planning services, including:


We will help you draft a will that determines how your assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries when you pass away. Your estate planning attorney in Smithfield will ensure your will adheres to all North Carolina estate laws and meets your needs.

Some of the biggest concerns of our clients include:

  • Who receives life insurance and other account funds
  • Disposition of real estate
  • Control of business interests
  • Avoiding probate
  • Reducing unnecessary tax implications
  • Establishing financial support and guardians for minor children or pets


A trust can allow you to avoid the probate process in North Carolina, which may make your estate subject to excessive taxes. A trust will establish a designated beneficiary and someone to control the trust (called a trustee). The trustee will be responsible for managing the assets of the trust and acting in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

There are different types of trusts, including irrevocable and revocable, that you should discuss with your estate lawyer. The type that you utilize will depend on the current and future needs of your estate.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney (POA) allows you to make important financial and medical decisions now in the event that you become incapacitated in the future.

A financial power of attorney will allow someone to handle your monetary affairs if you are unable to for a variety of reasons. This can ensure that your property, business, and children are cared for no matter what happens to you.

A healthcare or medical power of attorney can elect a person to make medical decisions for you, but it can also establish how you would like to be treated if an emergency occurs. For example, you may include information about life support or other extenuating circumstances within your POA.


If you have minor children or other dependents when you become critically ill or pass away, they will need a new guardian. If you do not make that decision, the court may make it for you. You know what is best for your dependents, so you should work with your Smithfield guardianship attorney to plan for their guardianship after you pass.


The probate process is long and daunting. It can take months or even years for an estate to work through the Smithfield, North Carolina court system. Your estate lawyer can help you develop a plan to bypass probate and avoid unnecessary confusion.

Business Succession Planning

If you own a business or take part in a family business, you will want to include business succession planning in your estate plan. Ownership transfer can be made seamless with a robust plan, avoiding the chaos of probating your estate and business interests.

What Should You Include in Your Estate Plan?

Your Smithfield estate planning attorney can help you determine exactly what documents and other needs should be included in your estate plan. Some of the most common assets Breeden Law Office considers including in an estate plan are:

  • Bank account funds
  • Life insurance policies
  • Real estate (including residential homes and vacation homes)
  • Personal property
  • Trust assets
  • Collectibles and valuables
  • Retirement savings accounts
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Vehicles, boats, and RVs

Other Considerations When Making an Estate Plan

There are many matters to consider when making an estate plan. It’s easy to leave out a document or fail to meet North Carolina’s estate planning law requirements.

Some issues our lawyers in Smithfield, North Carolina can help with include:

Life Insurance

When you meet with our Smithfield estate planning lawyer, we can help you determine if your life insurance is sufficient to cover your family’s needs. The goal is to ensure your dependents can continue covering household expenses, avoid financial distress, and cover unexpected costs if they come up after your death.

Where to Safely Store Documents

You should keep all original estate planning documents in a safe place. Your estate lawyer can also keep a copy of them. Sometimes the best place to keep such documents is in a lockbox or fireproof safe. A safety deposit box is not typically the best option because it cannot easily be accessed after you pass away.

Funeral Arrangements

You should include your wishes regarding funeral arrangements in your estate plan. Do not leave anything up in the air. Your family will be distraught and should not have to make difficult decisions after you pass away. Make sure you include information about how to pay for your funeral.

Discuss Your Needs with a Smithfield Estate Planning Lawyer

The estate planning process can be complex. Many people avoid it because it seems daunting. However, when you work with a trusted estate planning attorney in Smithfield, the process can be made easier.

Breeden Law Office has a team of legal professionals ready to help you. Contact an experienced lawyer at our Smithfield estate planning law firm through our online contact form or by phone at (919) 300-7290.

Call Breeden Law Office today:

Call (919) 300-7290

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