Charlotte Estate Planning
What Is Estate Planning?
Everyone has an estate. So, you need estate planning whether your estate is large or small. Estate planning is a process that involves legally structuring of the future disposition of the current and projected assets. Charlotte estate planning helps you to anticipate and arrange, during your life, for the disposal and management of your estate during your life and at and after death, while minimizing estate, gift, income tax, and generation-skipping transfer.
At Houston & Schantz PLLC, our Charlotte estate planning attorney will help you to plan for incapacity and come up with a well-informed process of eliminating or reducing uncertainties over the administration of a probate and ensuring maximization of the value of your estate by reducing taxes and any other expenses.
Your specific goals will determine the ultimate goal of your Charlotte estate planning. In fact, it may be as simple or complex as your needs dictate. Most often people designate guardians for their minor children and beneficiaries in incapacity.
To some extent, Charlotte estate planning law overlaps with the elder law, which adds other provisions such as long-term care.
Charlotte estate planning is one of the most crucial steps you can take to ensure that everyone honors your final property and health care wishes and that your loved ones get are well catered even in your absence.
Although many people often put off or overlook Charlotte estate planning in favor of more immediate concerns, a comprehensive plan helps to resolve some legal questions, which may arise whenever someone dies:
- What are the appropriate funeral arrangements?
- Is there any need for appointing a personal guardian to take care of minor children?
- What’s the state of his or her financial affairs?
- What real and personal property does he or she own?
- Who gets what?
- How much tax will have to be paid to transfer property ownership?
An estate plan can accomplish the following regardless of the size or complexity of your estate or your age:
1) Identify the specific family members and other loved ones who wish to inherit your property after your death.
2) Ensures quick and smooth transfer of your property to those you identified with as few legal hurdles as possible.
3) Reduces the amount your heirs will have to pay to inherit your property after your death.
4) Allows the use of Charlotte estate planning devices such as “payable on death” bank accounts and living trusts that helps to avoid costs and time associated with the probate process.
5) It shows the kinds of life-prolonging medical care you want to receive if you can’t make your wishes known during that time.
6) It set forth all the funeral arrangements you would like, and your family members or loved ones will pay for the related expenses.
Understanding the Charlotte estate planning options that suit your needs can be a complex task. Our Charlotte estate planning attorneys at Houston & Schantz PLLC can help you recognize potential solutions and identify your estate planning needs at every step of the process.
Why Our Charlotte Estate Planning Attorney?
Through years of continuing legal education, experience and mentoring, our Charlotte estate planning attorney can advise you on how to get your affairs to prepare for a possibility of mental disability and eventual death.
Estate planning does not begin and end with the last will. At Houston & Schantz PLLC, our Charlotte estate planning attorneys will also develop a plan to avoid or mitigate estate taxes, draft living trusts, and work to ensure that your beneficiaries’ creditors don’t exploit your life assets and savings are safe after your death.
We will prepare health care directives and powers of an attorney, arranging for someone to look after your affair if you become mentally incapacitated. We’ll also help you to avoid conservatorship or guardianship issues if you ever need someone else to handle your affairs.
Our experienced Charlotte estate planning attorney every option available to you in achieving your goals and meeting the needs of your loved ones – whether you want to create a comprehensive estate plan from scratch or revise an existing will.
Charlotte Estate Planning
Estate planning is one of the most critical areas of financial planning. However, it’s one of the most overlooked areas too. Making it a priority will benefit you and your family significantly and gives you peace of mind in the process.
An estate plan ensures that everyone honors your wishes and you can care for your loved ones, and they’ll not suffer after you’re gone. You have to consider many different areas when creating your estate plan, including:
- Plan for incapacity
You should always remember that there’ll be a time when you may not be able to handle your affairs. So, it’s vital to prepare for it before it happens.
- The enduring power of an attorney appoints a person you trust to handle your legal and financial matters.
- A person directive gives proper direction about your health and maintenance if you’re unable to do so.
- Record your personal affairs
Ensure you keep proper records to help you plan your estate well and give your executor easy time when he or she will be settling it.
- Make a record of everything you own and where one can find it. Include your investments, property, vehicles, bank accounts, insurance policies, pension plans, jewelry and other personal items. Also, include the details of your business if you own one.
- List your liabilities, such credit card balances, mortgages, and loans.
- Inform your executor or any other trusted person about the location of your vital documents such as bank information, insurance policies, mortgage documents and will.
- Prepare a will
Your preferred executor will find it easy to administer your estate if you prepare a will.
- Your will details how your family and other loved ones will handle your estate and possession after your death.
- You decide who’ll look after your minor children.
- You’ll have appointed and briefed your executors.
- Pre-plan funeral arrangements:
Most of us do not want to think about our funeral. But imagine how your loved ones will take on the same task while grieving. Isn’t it such a difficult task and experience?
- It is good to pre-plan your funeral so that your loved ones know your wishes.
- Pre-pay your funeral expenses to avoid burdening your family while grieving.
- Gift assets during your lifetime
You can give your beneficiaries some assets while you’re still alive if you wish and watch them enjoy your gifts.
- Settle living trusts
Obviously, you have special circumstances in your life. Look at them and establish trusts to care for those needs.
- Reduce fees and taxes
You want your loved ones to inherit your assets. You need to implement a little planning to reduce probate and estate fees and taxes.
- Decreasing or deferring taxes upon your death isn’t an easy task. Consult a tax advisor about proper tax planning.
- With proper planning, your affairs to reduce probate fees and administration expenses.
- Review life insurance
Ensure that your loved ones can still maintain their lifestyle and protect your estate after your death. Therefore, you should have life insurance that will provide cash for them.
- Plan for the succession of a family business
Time will come when you’re no longer able to manage your business. Do you have any plans for it? Who will run your business during that time?
It is important that you start preparing a person to replace you and run the business. This is also a crucial step to take in retirement planning.