Thinking about death is difficult for most people, but it is vital that you put time and effort into creating an estate plan that can potentially make the end of your life easier for your loved ones to manage. While they will contend with grief, facing tedious and time-consuming probate proceedings will make this challenging experience even harder. An Oak Island wills and estate planning lawyer can potentially help your family through this process much more easily.
The attorneys at Christina Rivenbark & Associates excel at helping clients develop individually tailored estate plans that help them feel more confident about end-of-life planning. We understand that estate planning can be a difficult and emotional subject, but attempting to handle it alone is very risky. There are many mistakes people make when they create their own estate plans that can create even bigger problems for their loved ones in the future.
When you hire our firm to help create your estate plan, you can expect responsive communication and diligent attention to detail in every step of the process. We’ll assist you in gathering the records and financial documentation you will need to incorporate into your plan and assist you in addressing variables you may not have considered on your own. Ultimately, our aim is to help you create an estate plan that accomplishes your goals.
When a person dies in North Carolina, their assets and liabilities enter probate, the legal process of determining new ownership and responsibility for the contents of their estate. Probate is a notoriously complex, time-consuming, and stressful process, and the court generally decides on the distribution of assets based on the law of intestate succession. However, it is done impersonally and may conflict with the decedent’s actual preferences.
An estate plan accomplishes two important goals. First, it can effectively transmit the estate owner’s wishes to their family. Second, it can help their family avoid a long and tedious series of probate proceedings. This can help them feel more of a sense of closure while also minimizing the time they need to spend in court. Additionally, a properly constructed estate plan can reduce the chance of beneficiaries contesting estate administration.
You likely have far more options for customizing your estate plan than you may realize, and a good Oak Island wills and estate planning law firm can explain all these options so you can make the most informed and confident decisions possible for your own plan. For example, a trust can be beneficial to you and your family in many ways, but it will require careful planning and attention to detail. There are also different configurations you can use to create your ideal trust.
Your estate plan can also help minimize uncertainty for your family if you fall ill or are otherwise rendered incapable of making legal or medical decisions on your own behalf. You can name a loved one to act as the executor of your estate plan and also designate power of attorney, ensuring that someone you trust is in charge of making all legally binding decisions once you become unable to do so yourself.
Christina Rivenbark & Associates can help you develop an individualized estate plan that fulfills your needs and expectations. The sooner you contact our firm, the sooner we can begin helping you develop your estate plan in Oak Island, NC.
A: Probate is the legal process of distributing a deceased individual’s assets and settling their debts after their death. An estate plan can help streamline this process for the surviving family, but probate, in some measure, is almost always required. The exception is any estate valued less than $20,000, which can avoid the standard formal probate procedure. The same applies to an estate valued less than $30,000 that goes entirely to a surviving spouse.
A: There is no strict timeframe stipulated by North Carolina law when it comes to the time an executor has in which to settle an estate. The complexity of the estate and various other factors can inherently increase the time required to settle an estate. However, the executory is expected to work with reasonable diligence. If the beneficiaries believe they have failed to do so, they could claim the executor has breached their fiduciary duty.
A: You have a great deal of flexibility when it comes to forming your estate plan, but there are a few elements that every estate plan should include. These plans are a last will and testament explaining how you wish to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries, an advanced care directive explaining what end-of-life medical intervention you would like, and a power of attorney designation identifying the party or parties you will trust to make legally binding decisions.
A: If you plan on seeking professional legal help with creating a will in Oak Island, it is vital that you find an experienced estate planning attorney who has proven success with will creation. Your chosen attorney should be able to explain the breadth of their experience and provide careful guidance when it comes to crafting a will that satisfies your financial and legal goals for your estate plan.
A: Yes. No matter how diligent you are in planning your estate, there is always a chance for all types of disputes to arise that can complicate estate administration for your family. The formal procedure for contesting a will in North Carolina is called a will caveat. An experienced Oak Island wills and estate planning lawyer can help minimize the chance of this occurring with your estate’s administration.
The team at Christina Rivenbark & Associates is ready to help create a comprehensive estate plan that minimizes the time your loved ones will need to spend in probate proceedings after your death. Our firm has helped many clients create their estate plans, and we can put this experience to work for you. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with an Oak Island wills and estate planning lawyer you can trust.