Wills, Trusts, and Estates
We don’t like to think about it, but we do need to plan for it.
Nobody enjoys talking about it or making notes about it.
Especially while we are young, we think it will never happen.
What is it? It is the moment when our life on this earth comes to an end. Our death. While life is full of variables and uncertainties, good moments and not so good moments, joys and sorrows, stresses and delights, we know that the day will come when each of us will no longer be here on this earth.
Your family will go through emotional grief and sorrow … but you can help them out a great deal by preventing complications with property and money. There are several ways to plan for your family or friends to receive your property and assets with minimal administrative burden.
One way is by means of a Last Will and Testament. The law of North Carolina has a plan already picked out for you if you don’t choose your own. For some people, the state’s plan is not bad. For others, it is a horrible nightmare for those you love the most.
Another way is by means of a Revocable Living Trust. Some people shy away from a trust because it is something they are not familiar with. It is not for everyone, but it can be a very good estate planning device for many people. It is especially helpful for people who own real estate outside of North Carolina. A variation of the Revocable Living Trust is ideal for couples whose total assets (including life insurance, retirement accounts and other “non-probate” assets) have a value of greater than one million dollars.
North Carolina has 2 kinds of Power of Attorney:
(1) Durable Power of Attorney, and
(2) Health Care Power of Attorney. Both are extremely valuable if some sort of emergency crisis (such as a bad car accident or a stroke or heart attack) happens. Both are important, as each one is designed for very different purposes.
A Living Will is another very important document. For many people, it is one of the most meaningful gifts you can give to your family … as it takes away the guilt they otherwise would feel if they had to make the decision to not start (or to terminate if it was started) artificial life support if you are brain dead and cannot recover. The Living Will does not apply in North Carolina if a person is in a coma … only if the person is brain dead
There are several connected documents that could be very helpful for you, especially the Will Planner, as you think about this topic.
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