For Peace Of Mind And Preservation Of Assets: Estate Planning And Administration
Estate planning is not only for wealthy or elderly people. If you are an adult with assets and/or family members, the estate planning lawyers at Murray & Craven, L.L.P., can help you create, review or update an estate plan. Estate planning documents may include:
- Powers of attorney
- A health care directive
- A will
- One or more trusts
Comprehensive estate planning is critical for the protection of assets in a family or to provide for a favorite charitable cause. Our attorneys work closely with clients and their financial, insurance and other advisers to create estate planning documents. We make sure that estate plans meet all of the clients’ objectives while minimizing costs, delays and taxes.
About Your Will
If you do not have a will, the state of North Carolina will determine how your assets are distributed. Most people do not like that idea but rather, want to have a say in this very personal matter. To protect your right to direct who will inherit your property, create a will as the first component of your estate plan. Beware the pitfalls of do-in-yourself wills. An experienced estate law attorney can help ensure that your will expresses your wishes accurately. A valid will can withstand potential legal challenges in case of disputes between your heirs or intended beneficiaries.
Your existing will may need an update. Estate planning experts typically recommend reviewing your will every five to 10 years, when you move to a new state and at any time there are significant changes in your family or your assets.
Should You Create A Trust?
Many people seek to keep most or all of their assets out of probate by creating trusts. Murray & Craven, L.L.P., can help you determine whether a trust (or more than one trust) will accomplish your goals. If we advise you, we will also help ensure that you put your assets in the trust(s) you create to meet your objectives as intended. You may opt for one or more of the following:
- A revocable living trust that establishes you as the trustee and the beneficiary while you are still living, allowing you to change or revoke it if you see fit
- An irrevocable trust, which may offer tax-shelter benefits that a revocable trust may not provide
- A special needs trust to provide for a disabled family member
- A generation-skipping trust, perhaps to benefit your grandchildren directly
Advising On Related Practice Areas
In addition, we assist clients in the related area of probate and administration of decedents’ estates, including complicated tax planning, and handling Internal Revenue Service disputes. We participate with clients as needed in audit conferences with the Internal Revenue Service and state agencies on estate and gift tax matters.
Murray & Craven, L.L.P., also represents clients in will contests (caveats) and other types of estate litigation.