Wills & Trusts

Proactive estate planning is not only a source of peace of mind, but also one of the most meaningful gifts you can leave behind for your loved ones. By taking the time to establish a well-crafted plan, you not only ensure that your assets are distributed according to your desires, but also provide security and relief to your family during an already difficult time.

Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to helping you create a comprehensive estate plan that reflects your values, priorities, and goals. We offer informative guidance and personalized support to assist you in making informed decisions about asset distribution, guardianship for minor children, and other critical aspects of estate planning.

Understanding Wills & Trusts

A will is a legal document that outlines how your assets and property (such as vehicles, money, houses, investments, personal belongings, and real estate) should be distributed after your passing. It allows you to choose who will receive your property, name someone to handle your affairs (known as an executor), and decide who will care for any minor children you may have. A carefully crafted will ensures that your final wishes are respected, reducing the chances of disagreements and confusion among your loved ones during an already difficult time.

On the other hand, trusts are legal arrangements that let you transfer your assets to a person or entity (called a trustee) who will manage them for the benefit of your chosen beneficiaries. Trusts can be created during your lifetime (living trusts) or set up within your will to take effect after your passing (testamentary trusts). Trusts provide additional benefits, such as privacy, protection for your assets, and the potential to avoid the probate process.

By having a will or trust in place, you have the power to dictate how your property is distributed and ensure your loved ones are taken care of. It’s important to understand these legal tools to make informed decisions about your estate and protect your assets for the future.

Why is it Important to Establish Wills & Trusts?

Regardless of your age or financial status, creating a comprehensive estate plan that includes wills and/or trusts is of utmost importance. Estate planning is not just for the wealthy or the elderly—it is a responsible step for anyone who wants to protect their assets, ensure the well-being of their loved ones, and maintain control over the distribution of their estate. Some of the reasons it’s crucial to have a plan in place include:

Asset Distribution: Crafting a will or trust allows you to dictate precisely how your assets are distributed upon your passing. Without a clear plan in place, your property may be subject to state laws that might not align with your intentions. By explicitly documenting your wishes in a legally binding document, you provide your loved ones with clarity and tranquility, knowing that your desires will be fulfilled.

Guardianship: If you have minor children or a loved one with special needs, a will becomes even more critical as it enables you to designate a guardian who will be responsible for their care if you are no longer able to fulfill that role. This vital decision ensures that your children will be raised by someone you trust and who shares your values, providing them with a stable and loving environment, and to ensure your loved one with special needs will not lose eligibility for public benefits because of your bequest.

Avoiding Intestacy: Intestacy refers to the situation where no valid will exists at the time of your passing. In such cases, the court will distribute your assets based on predetermined laws, potentially overlooking significant individuals or causes that you would have otherwise supported. By having a will or trust, you retain control over the management of your estate and who benefits from it, ensuring your intentions are respected.

Mitigating Family Disputes: Ambiguity or disagreement regarding the distribution of assets can lead to family conflicts during an already emotionally challenging time. By clearly articulating your wishes in a legally binding document, you can minimize the potential for disputes and foster a harmonious transition for your loved ones.

Tax Efficiency: Wills and trusts can be structured in a manner that maximizes tax benefits and minimizes the tax burden on your estate. Consulting with our experienced attorneys allows you to explore strategies aligned with your goals, providing significant financial advantages for your beneficiaries.

By recognizing the importance of wills and trusts and taking proactive steps to establish an estate plan tailored to your needs, you can secure your legacy, protect your assets, and provide for the well-being of your loved ones. Our knowledgeable team is here to guide you through the intricacies of wills and trusts, ensuring that your wishes are upheld and your estate planning objectives are achieved.


Contact us today to learn more about our Wills & Trusts services and how we can assist you in creating an estate plan that brings peace of mind and security to you and your family. Together, we can establish a plan that not only safeguards your assets, but also ensures that your legacy is preserved and your loved ones are taken care of.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I die without a will in North Carolina?

If you die without a valid will in North Carolina, a probate court will determine how to divide your assets. Typically, these assets would be distributed to your immediate family (parents, children, and spouse). In the event that you do not have immediate family, the state’s intestacy laws will dictate the distribution of your assets to more distant relatives, or to the State of North Carolina.

What is the role of an executor in a will?

An executor, also known as a personal representative, is an individual or entity named in your will to administer your estate after your death. Their responsibilities include gathering your assets, paying debts and taxes, distributing assets according to your will’s instructions, and handling the legal and financial aspects of the estate administration process. When choosing an executor, it is important to select someone who is trustworthy, organized, and capable of carrying out the duties involved. Alternatively, you can choose a professional executor, such as a bank or a trust company, to handle the administration of your estate.

How often should I review and update my will or trust?

It is generally recommended to review your will or trust every 3 – 5 years, especially when significant life events occur such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, or changes in financial circumstances. It’s also advisable to review your estate plan every few years to ensure it reflects your current wishes and any changes in applicable laws.

Can I include digital assets in my will or trust?

Yes, you can include provisions for your digital assets in your will or trust. Digital assets can include online accounts, digital files, social media profiles, and cryptocurrencies. It’s important to provide instructions for accessing and managing these assets, as well as appointing a digital executor or trustee to handle them according to your wishes.

How do I decide if I need a trust, a will, or both?

The decision of whether to have a trust, a will, or both depends on various factors such as the size of your estate, your specific goals, and your preferences for control and privacy. Trusts offer additional benefits, such as avoiding probate and providing ongoing management of assets, but they may involve more complex planning. Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you determine the best approach based on your individual circumstances.

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