When was the last time you reviewed your estate plan? Like many people, you may have made a plan when your children were young and haven’t thought about it again. By the time you are approaching retirement, many things have changed in your life. Your children are grown and may or may not be ready to inherit significant assets. You may have divorced and remarried, changing to whom you want your assets to go. Health concerns for yourself or family members may have complicated your finances. Whatever the situation, now is the time to make an appointment with Teague Campbell’s estate planning attorney, George Pender.
Do You Need a Will or Trust? Ask Us!
You have several options when it comes to making an estate plan in North Carolina. You may have heard that trusts are better than wills because you can avoid probate and estate taxes. This may be true for some people, but each person’s situation is unique and George will work with you to determine the best plan for your estate based on your wishes.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each of the estate plan options, including the following:
- Wills. A will is a legally binding document that expresses the wishes of its creator for the dispersal of his or her assets upon death. Basically, a will specifies who the deceased wants to get which assets when he dies. A will is required to go through probate in North Carolina, meaning the executor of the document will have to follow certain protocols to take the will through the court system. This is a fairly simple process in North Carolina, however, and does not usually create undue expense or delay. Wills are generally the less costly option when planning your estate, but there are limitations.
- Revocable Living Trusts. This type of trust allows the creator to plan for his assets while sparing his heirs the hassle of probate. Any assets put in trust will pass directly to the named heir without going through probate. It allows the grantor more control than a will, as he is able to determine who receives the money, when they receive it, and what conditions must be met. The grantor may alter the trust at any time, thus the “revocable” designation. A revocable trust, however, offers no tax advantages to the estate. As they are more complicated to create, revocable living trusts may cost more to create than a will.
- Irrevocable Living Trust. The greatest advantage of this type of trust is that any assets put in it are exempt from estate taxes upon the grantor’s death. The disadvantage, however, is that it takes control of the assets away from the creator as soon as the trust is established. In other words, the assets in the trust are no longer accessible to the owner of the assets. This type of trust is beneficial in certain specific circumstances.
When you work with George Pender on your estate plan, he will examine all of your assets, discuss your wishes for passing them on, and determine the best and most economical way for you to accomplish your goals. Whether it is through a simple will or a combination of living trusts and a will, we will serve your best interests.
What Makes George Pender Unique?
Why come to Teague Campbell and George Pender for your estate planning needs? After all, many lawyers offer estate planning services and you can download a will for free from the Internet. When you work with George, however, you can rest assured that every contingency has been considered and that your assets will be left in good hands. George offers the following unique services to his estate planning clients:
- An all-inclusive flat rate. No matter how complicated your assets and heirs are, George will work out an up-front flat rate for his legal services and guarantees that all of your estate planning needs will be met for this rate. He will not charge you again to complete your plan.
- Multiple meetings. Gathering information about assets, considering all of your heirs, and working out the best plan to meet your goals takes time. You will meet with George multiple times to work out all of the details of your customized estate plan.
- No limit. There is no limit on the amount of time or number of meetings you will have with George to finalize your plan. Whatever it takes to make sure you are happy with your plan, you will get it.
There Is No Time Like the Present
Whether you have been putting this off for years, have an outdated plan in place, or are facing major changes in your life that require a new plan, Estate Planning Attorney George Pender will meet you where you are and walk you through the process of protecting your wealth and your loved ones. Often, it is taking that first step that is the most difficult. Call today to schedule an initial consultation.