If you’re reading this, it is very likely that you would benefit from having an estate plan. Many people share a common misconception about estate planning. They believe estate planning is only for the elderly or the wealthy. While the need of the elderly and the wealthy for estate planning may be particularly urgent, adults of all ages are well-advised to have an estate plan in place. We are all fragile and mortal, and none of us knows when the unexpected may occur.
As most people know, an estate plan will help to ensure that you will be the one to decide what happens to your property in the event of your untimely passing. For this reason, many people have a last will and testament that gives directions about who will inherit their property when they die. What many people fail to consider is that an estate plan can do much more than just direct the inheritance of property and an estate plan can come into play before death.
For example, what would happen if you were the victim of a car accident and became temporarily unable to manage your own affairs? Who has access to your accounts? Who has the ability to pay your bills or manage your property? Who has the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable? Who will take care of your children if anything happens to you? Who will take care of you if you can’t take care of yourself? If you end up on life support, who will make decisions about how long to continue using artificial means to prolong your life? Healthcare and guardianship aspects of estate planning are every bit as important as the property aspects, if not more important.
We frequently hear stories from friends, family, and in the media about the difficulty families face in these situations. In most cases, the burden these families bear could have been lessened if the victim had an estate plan.
Of course, the elderly and the wealthy need estate plans too. As we age, the likelihood of accidents and illness increases, as do the sizes of our estates if all goes according to plan.
Wealthy individuals or business owners share all of these concerns and need to consider tax planning as well. The federal estate tax rate is 40% as of the time of this writing in 2013. Obviously, if you find yourself in the fortunate position of having a taxable estate, a little estate planning can go a long way in terms of tax savings.
This section of our site will tell you about what happens if you choose not to make an estate plan as well as what estate planning options are available to you. It covers many estate planning tools that are appropriate to everyone and a few that are designed for specific circumstances.
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If you are ready to stop putting it off, give us a call today at (704) 288-4700 for a free telephone consultation. We will discuss North Carolina Estate planning options and determine what kind of estate plan will best suit your needs.