Estate planning is the process by which we discuss your goals and objectives regarding the continued management of your assets during your lifetime and the transferring of your assets upon your death. This process allows us to determine what estate planning documents to prepare and what type of provisions will be needed in your documents. The estate planning documents typically used include some or all of the following: wills, trusts, financial powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, and living wills.
The estate planning process involves a comprehensive review of all your assets to determine how ownership and any applicable beneficiary designations should be structured once your estate plan is determined. And if any changes are needed with regard to ownership or beneficiary designations, we will work with you to make these changes. It is important that we work together to ensure that all your assets will be managed and ultimately pass exactly as we intend them to.
Once your estate plan is determined and implemented, it is important that it be maintained as your life changes. We recommend that clients review their documents every three to five years to ensure the documents remain consistent with their needs and intentions. We also recommend that existing documents be reviewed upon any of the following:
• Death of a spouse, partner, or family member
• Change in marital status
• Relocation to North Carolina from another state
Through the estate planning process, we will also address additional items that commonly arise: asset protection, business succession planning, and probate avoidance.