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Issues in Raleigh Estate Planning 

Proper estate planning is essential to providing for your family’s future. However, estate planning is rarely as simple as stating who you want to inherit your assets after your death. It is important to have legally valid documents to ensure that your intentions are met.

There are various issues in Raleigh estate planning that could arise. With dedicated guidance from a knowledgeable attorney, you could prevent these problems by naming a valid and willing executor, accounting for all possible beneficiaries, and being as specific as possible in your will to help to avoid confusion during the probate process.

Taking Proper Stock of Assets and Liabilities in Raleigh

The goal of any estate plan is to provide for one’s family and heirs after death. An estate can be used to distribute assets and pay off any debts that a person may have accumulated prior to death. Accordingly, the first part of executing a proper estate plan is taking an accurate account of these debts and assets.

For most people, the main asset in an estate is the family home. A person may also have retirement accounts, pensions, or other cash assets that are subject to distribution after death. A skilled attorney could help with the process of taking stock of all assets in a local estate.

On the other hand, a person may also be carrying significant debts. It is important to discuss all assets and liabilities with a dedicated legal advisor in the area to make proper estate planning arrangements.

Choosing a Capable Executor

One of the most important considerations in Raleigh estate planning is naming a capable and willing personal representative. Choosing the right executor can help ensure the proper payment of a person’s debts and quick distribution of assets to beneficiaries.

Importantly, the law places restrictions on who may serve as a personal representative. North Carolina General Statutes § 28A-4-2 says that a person may not be a personal representative if:

  • They are not at least 18 years old
  • They are a convicted felon
  • A court order finds them incompetent
  • They are a non-resident of North Carolina without an appointed resident agent

In the estate planning process, a well-practiced lawyer could advise a Raleigh resident on nominating multiple possible executors in case the executor predeceases them, refuses the job, or is disqualified by the court.

Accounting for all Possible Beneficiaries

The primary purpose of a will is to dictate what happens to one’s assets after death. A will can circumvent the state’s laws on inheritance preference. Likewise, if a will is invalid or a person dies without a will, the law will default to these inheritance rules.

Unfortunately, many wills face legal challenges. For example, a person who might stand to inherit a portion of a house but is not included in the will may argue that the document is not valid. If this argument succeeds, the court may order that person to receive their portion against the testator’s wishes. As such, it is essential for a testator to specifically state their wishes for their estate, especially if they want to intentionally disinherit potential heirs.

Retain an Attorney to Avoid Issues with Estate Planning in Raleigh 

Effective estate planning involves more than just writing down what you want to happen to your property after you die. Testamentary documents must contain proper signatures and follow various legal requirements. Additionally, wills should name qualified executors and specify all of a person’s assets and liabilities.

Persistent legal counsel could help ensure that your will is valid and secure a plan for your family’s future. To avoid issues with estate planning in Raleigh, contact a hardworking attorney at our firm.