Wills & Trusts
Wills & Trusts involve you stating where you want your property to go at the time of your death rather than having the government dictate where your property goes. This process is called Estate Planning and is an ongoing process. You must not only develop and implement a plan that reflects your current financial and family situation, but you must also periodically review your current plan to ensure it fits in with any changes in your life. We often hear it said that you should constantly update your estate plan but we prefer to advise clients to update their plan whenever that have a major life change (such as the death of a spouse or the birth of a child). Lawyers often call the process “estate planning.”
Very often Estate Planning and Elder Care Law overlap. These practice areas also often get confused by clients. The reason for this overlap and confusion is that both Estate Planning and Elder Care Law deal with the same assets. The difference between these two practice areas is that Elder Care Law deals with a person’s assets while they are alive and Estate Planning deals with a person’s assets after they die. The majority of a the time when a client comes to Morphis Law & Mediation to discuss either practice area we end up discussing both with the client.
Many people assume that engaging in Estate Planning and having an estate plan or a trust is something that only the super wealthy need. Prior to 2012 a lot of the emphasis on Estate Planning and trusts dealt with trying to reduce estate taxes (also called death taxes by some). The reduction in estate taxes is actually tax planning. In reality true Estate Planning (called traditional estate planning by attorneys) is about all sorts of things which have nothing to do with reducing estate taxes. A few of the many things Estate Planning is truly about involve ensuring that your family is provided for, that your business can continue and that your charitable goals are achieved. Morphis Law & often works with clients to transfer their wealth in the most practical and tax-efficient manner. More often we work with people who likely will not have estate tax issues when they pass. Instead Morphis Law & Mediation works with these clients on very personal and sensitive family relationships and the focus is on how can assets be passed down in a manner that meets the clients wishes. Sometimes a client just needs a will, sometimes a client needs a trust and sometimes they need both. We help our clients know what they need and achieve their goals by developing genuine relationships with them. We handle each client’s matter with professionalism, confidentiality and respect for the importance of the matter to the client. The client receives practical advice based on our real life experience, thorough knowledge of the law, and sound judgment.
Morphis Law & Mediation can help with your estate planning needs. Making a valid and effective will in North Carolina is more involved than most people realize. Writing your will allows your assets to be distributed exactly how you desire. Individuals who try to prepare their own will often neglect the most important part of the will, exactly how and when their assets will be transferred to their beneficiaries. Additionally, North Carolina has specific requirements for executing a will. If a will is not signed according these specific requirements then the will may be deemed invalid and of no effect. North Carolina allows for what is called a holographic will and for some individuals these are fine. Typically, however, the money a person saves doing a holographic will is lost after the person dies in the expenses associated with having the holographic will interpreted.
Morphis Law & Mediation prides itself on its as having a wide breadth of knowledge in Estate Planning. Our Estate Planning strives to cover all areas of your financial, physical and mental well being. These include not only creating wills and trusts, durable powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, living wills, and titling assets properly to accomplish a plan, but also planning for the future success of a business, protecting assets, reducing estate and gift taxes, and creating the type of trust needed for your specific circumstances. We will work with you, as well as with your trusted advisors (accountant, financial planner, insurance agent, etc.) to organize your affairs so that your wishes are met and your assets protected for generations.
If you would like assistance making sure your property ends up where you want it to when you die then call Morphis Law & Mediation today at (828) 328-5297.