Plan for the Future with Estate Planning from Carolina Estate Counsel
Carolina Estate Counsel – Estate Planning Attorneys
At Carolina Estate Counsel, we offer trusted estate planning services for the people in the Raleigh community and throughout North Carolina. Don’t wait until it’s too late to establish your last will and testament or revocable living trust. Contact us today to get started on this necessary process.
Wills transfer the property you hold in your name to the people or organizations you want to receive it. A will also typically names a Personal Representative (Executor) to carry out your instructions and a Guardian to take care of minor children under your care. Additionally, a will only becomes effective upon your passing, after it has been admitted to probate. Assets or property passing under a will must first go through probate before it can take effect.
Probate & Estate Administration
Through our probate and estate administration services, we provide legal guidance after a family member has passed away. We handle all aspects of probate and estate administration proceedings, including estate taxes and estate accountings. We will make sure your rights are represented throughout the probate process to the maximum extent.
Medicaid planning is often advisable for elderly clients who need to be admitted to a nursing home. There are two important aspects of Medicaid planning: the initial qualification for Medicaid and the prevention of Medicaid recovery against the estate after the death of the Medicaid recipient. Careful Medicaid planning can protect your estate by preventing a massive spend-down of assets to pay for long- term care. Additionally, Medicaid planning can sometimes preserve the assets for the heirs of the estate and prevent Medicaid recovery against the estate.
Revocable Living Trusts
Revocable living trusts can be used to hold legal title and provide a mechanism to manage your property. You can select a person or persons—even yourself —as the Trustee(s) to carry out the instructions in the Trust and name one or more Successor Trustees. Unlike a will, a revocable living trust usually becomes effective immediately, continues in force during your lifetime even in the event of your incapacity, and continues after your death. Most trusts are revocable, which allows you the freedom to make future changes and modifications—and even to terminate it. Trusts also help you avoid or minimize the expenses, delays, and publicity of probate if your assets are properly titled.
Irrevocable trusts are helpful in addressing asset protection as well as estate tax avoidance. Irrevocable trusts can be effective in shielding assets from creditors and “freezing” the value of your estate to avoid additional estate taxes as your estate grows in value. An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) is an effective means of paying for estate taxes and getting more money into the hands of your heirs.
Special Needs Trusts
Special needs trusts are created to supplement benefits from Government assistance programs while complying with the complex rules of federal needs-based benefits programs. CLICK HERE for more information.
Pet trusts are created for the care of one or more designated domestic or pet animals alive at the time of creation of the trust, including funds and specific care instructions. CLICK HERE for more information.
Reasons to Utilize Revocable Living Trusts in Estate Planning:
- Avoiding probate
- Incapacity planning
- Avoiding making insurance and retirement accounts subject to estate creditors
- Estate Tax avoidance
- Blended marriages
- Managing estates for minor beneficiaries
- Handling complex distributions to multiple beneficiaries
- Controlling distributions upon death
- Delaying distributions for spendthrift beneficiaries
- Special Needs Trusts for disabled beneficiaries
- Protective trusts or Spendthrift trusts for creditor protection for beneficiaries
Services We Offer:
- Estate Planning
- Wills, Trusts, & Estates
- Elder Law
- Medicaid Planning
- Asset Protection
- Estate Administration & Probate