It’s a common misconception that estate planning is reserved for those with huge portfolios of assets and millions of dollars in the bank. It’s important to remember, however, that everyone will have an estate at some point. An estate is defined as the totality of your assets when you pass away, which can include money, property, stocks, jewelry, automobiles, or other items of value.

Anyone who passes away should have a strong plan in place that upholds their wishes for past their lifetime. It’s important to decide who should receive which assets from your estate, and how many, and estate planning aims to do just that. By deciding proactively who will receive your property once you pass away, you mitigate the risk of any disputes or confusion arising after your death.

Estate planning relieves the burden of sorting out your finances after you’ve passed away. Your family should not have to struggle with making sense of your assets, especially on top of grieving, so most people choose to speak with an estate lawyer as early as possible. It’s never too early to create a strong estate plan, and our lawyers at Thomas-Walters, PLLC are skilled in helping North Carolina residents do just that

What Are Wills and Trusts?

Both a will and a trust are two methods by which your property can be distributed after your death. These are the most commonly occurring vehicles of estate planning, and our lawyers help North Carolina residents create these plans every day.

A trust is its own legal entity. A trust holds and distributes assets once the individual passes away. A trustee will be appointed to the trust. The trustee will be responsible for ensuring your wishes are upheld after you pass away, and that the money and assets held by the trust are distributed to your beneficiaries as you intended while you were alive.

A will, on the other hand, is a legal document that is formally submitted to a court for review. In a will, plans are laid out to explain which beneficiary should receive which funds. If the will is deemed valid by the courts, a court will then supervise the process of ensuring the assets go where they should.

What Is A Power Of Attorney?

Powers of attorney grant an individual the legal authority to manage assets and the distribution of assets on someone’s behalf, if that person should become unable to. Reasons such as illness or incapacitation may cause someone to be unable to communicate their wishes or handle their own matters. For example, if someone gets into a debilitating car accident, and is no longer able to speak due to being injured, or perhaps in a coma, a power of attorney would step in to manage the financial aspect of this situation.

Powers of attorney are important legal documents. They become active and go into effect immediately upon acceptance and signature, in order to ensure your assets are protected under any circumstances.

Why Should I Hire An Attorney To Help With My Estate Plan?

Creating an estate plan with the help of a trusted estate planning lawyer can help you make the most out of your estate plan. At Thomas-Walters, PLLC, our skilled, hard working attorney will guide you through the process every step of the way, ensuring you don’t make any accidents or costly mistakes as you complete the process.

An estate planning lawyer will make themselves available to you to address and answer any questions or concerns that may arise throughout the process as well. If a major life change occurs, and you feel the need to modify your estate plan in any way, our attorneys will also help you make the adjustments you need to have the plan reflect your new wishes. Raleigh estate planning lawyers from our firm will help address any questions you have and help you protect your family and estate as best as possible.

Schedule A Free Estate Planning Consultation With A Raleigh Estate Planning Lawyer Today

It’s never too early to begin the process of estate planning. The sooner you start the process, the sooner you can rest assured that your end of life planning is securely and efficiently taken care of, mitigating the risk of any burden or extra work for your loved ones.

At Thomas-Walters, PLLC, we offer a free, no-obligation consultation for any North Carolina resident interested in creating an estate plan. Contact our office today to speak with one of our estate planning lawyers.