Estate planning involves arranging for the orderly transfer of property during life and after death, with emphasis on estate, gift, and income tax minimization. This entails executing a will and a durable power of attorney; for some clients one or more trusts also may be appropriate. I also recommend signing advance health care directives, which can be executed in conjunction with your estate planning documents.
Probate and Estate Administration
Estate administration and probate involve transferring a deceased person’s assets in compliance with North Carolina law and Federal tax law. Administering an estate can take from 12 to 24 months, depending on the size of the estate and the nature of the assets. More time may be necessary if a Federal estate tax return is required or real estate must be sold. We handle all aspects of probate and also advise survivors regarding insurance and retirement plan claims.
Unless it is held in trust or by a custodian, North Carolina requires that property of a minor or someone who is incompetent be held by a Court- appointed guardian, who must be bonded. We can assist with competency hearings, bonding, and court accountings.