Wills, Trusts and Estate Practice
No matter your net worth, it is important to have a basic estate plan in place. While you are living and healthy, you value being able to make your own decisions about your finances, property, health care and raising your children.
Should you pass away or become incapacitated, you hope others will handle these matters for you according to your wishes. The only way to ensure that your wishes are honored is through estate planning and the completion of a will.
A will tells the world how your assets will be distributed and even who will take care of your children when you pass away or become incapacitated. Passing away without a will (also known as dying “intestate”) means the laws of the State of North Carolina will dictate who will be the guardian of your children and who will inherit your assets. No one should let that happen to their heirs.
The key elements to a basic estate plan include: a will; assignment of power of attorney; living will or medical power of attorney; health care power of attorney and a trust to effectively handle tax and asset transfer goals.
Trusts are legal mechanisms that allow you to have additional control over how and when your assets will be distributed upon your death. They also allow you to reduce your estate and gift taxes to your heirs without the cost, delay and publicity of probate court, which administers wills.
A living will (also known as an advanced medical directive) is a statement of your wishes for the kind of life-sustaining medical intervention you will want or do not want, in the event you become terminally ill or in a vegetative state and are unable to communicate your wishes.
The attorneys at Lanier, Fountain & Ceruzzi will work with you throughout the entire process to ensure that your will and estate plan fully reflects your financial and familial goals for the near and distant future.