Estate planning is a long process that may require weeks or months of preparation. With that in mind, it is never a bad time to begin forming your estate plan. Life can be unpredictable and having a plan is essential to provide for your family’s future after you pass away.
Preparing for this eventuality involves identifying your assets, choosing an appropriate estate planning strategy for your situation, and creating formal documents to ensure that your wishes are legally enforceable. A conversation with a knowledgeable attorney can help you better understand the estate planning process in Wake Forest.
The first step in creating an estate plan is to identify your assets and property. It is important to address all of your savings and belongings in your Will or other testamentary document to avoid disputes among your family members after your death.
These assets can come in many forms. The most obvious type of asset is physical property, such as jewelry, vehicles, or furniture. However, an estate may also include real estate, bank accounts, stocks, or even control over a business. A well-practiced lawyer in your area can help you identify all your assets and walk you through the next steps in the estate planning process.
Estate plans come in many shapes and forms. For many people, a Will forms the basis of their estate plan. This document takes effect after a person’s death, at which point a nominated executor has a duty to ensure that the terms of the Will are carried out.
However, there are other estate planning options that may allow for more flexibility and lessen tax burdens on heirs. For example, a Trust is a popular estate planning method that facilitates the transfer of property at any time, thus avoiding probate complications after your death. Trusts may also allow you to provide payments to charities or remain in a home while providing ownership rights to another person. If you are beginning the estate planning process in Wake Forest, it is recommended that you go over all the available options with a skilled attorney.
Once you identify your assets and choose an estate planning strategy, a seasoned lawyer can help you draft the necessary legal documents. At this stage of the estate planning process, it is crucial to seek nearby legal guidance to ensure that you fulfill all the requirements. For example, North Carolina General Statutes § 31-3.3 says that a Will must contain your signature, as well as the signatures of two witnesses who observed you sign the document.
Similar laws control the proper execution of Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and other estate planning documents. A lawyer well-versed in the estate planning process can help craft documents that have legal power and ensure that they will be properly executed.
Having a comprehensive estate plan can help you gain peace of mind that your family will be cared for after you pass away. If you are considering your goals for the future, learn more about the estate planning process in Wake Forest from a knowledgeable attorney at our firm. A lawyer can help you identify your assets, choose the correct estate planning tools, and draft the documents necessary to achieve your end-of-life wishes. Give us a call today to schedule an initial strategy meeting.