Law Office of Zachary B. Setzer, PLLC — Charlotte and Monroe Last Will and Testament Attorney — Call (704) 288-4700 for a Free ConsultationThe North Carolina Last Will and Testament, frequently just called a Will, is the most common and well-known estate planning tool. The primary purpose of a Last Will and Testament is to determine who will get your property when you pass on from this world. You can also establish a contingency plan for your property in the event that none of your primary beneficiaries survive you.
The Last Will and Testament can include other provisions as well. In your Will, you will name an executor of your estate. In North Carolina, the executor will be responsible for performing all of the tasks associated with the probate process, including hiring an attorney for the estate, collecting outstanding debts owed to the estate, paying debts of the estate, filing accountings and inventories with the probate court, and defending the estate against challenges to the will. To an extent, you can expand or limit the powers of the executor within the will. You can also set the executor’s commission for performing these duties, or specify that the executor will not be paid a commission.
You can also use your Last Will and Testament to name a guardian in case you leave behind any minor children and to give directions with respect to your funeral arrangements and final resting place.
How Much Does a Last Will and Testament Cost in North Carolina?
The cost of a Last Will and Testament varies from one lawyer to the next. The complexity of the client’s situation can also affect the cost, as very complex situations require more time and planning. Many attorneys charge an hourly fee, and their clients don’t know what the cost will be until the work is finished and they receive an invoice. It’s rarely a pleasant surprise.
Other attorneys charge a nominal fee, some as low as $100, for a last will and testament. Be aware that these attorneys charge such low fees to prepare your will because their business model is based on doing as many wills as possible in the hopes that their deceased clients’ families will come to the lawyer for help with probate. Then they charge up to 5% of the total value of your estate to help your kids through probate.
At the Law Office of Zachary B. Setzer, PLLC, we offer fixed fees so that our clients know from the start exactly how much they will have to pay. Our firm focuses on a comprehensive planning approach, and our will-based comprehensive estate plans are priced starting at $1,500. Be aware that our comprehensive plans are not comparable to the estate planning services offered by most attorneys. They go above and beyond to ensure that probate will be as simple as possible for your family and that you will leave not only a financial legacy, but also a lasting, personal legacy.
Do I Need More Than a Last Will and Testament?
Everyone knows they need a Last Will and Testament, but a will only performs its job after you have passed away. It does nothing in a situation in which you become incapacitated. To plan for the risk of becoming incapacitated, you should also have a Durable Power of Attorney, a Health Care Power of Attorney, a Living Will, and a HIPAA Medical Records Release. These additional estate planning documents give you protections that a will alone does not. For specific information about each of these powerful estate planning documents, just follow the links above.
If you have an estate worth over $150,000, or if you are particularly zealous about protecting the privacy of your personal information, you may also be interested in helping your family avoid the probate process altogether. For more information about the drawbacks of probate and how to avoid it, please visit our Revocable Living Trust page.
Why Should I Choose the Law Office of Zachary B. Setzer, PLLC For My Last Will and Testament?
There are several important factors that go into choosing an attorney. Some factors include the attorney’s expertise and experience, how expensive the attorney is, and the size of the law firm.
- The Law Office of Zachary B. Setzer, PLLC is an estate planning firm. Estate planning and related services are all we do. While many local attorneys focus on criminal and civil litigation and write wills on the side, our focus is on wills, trusts, and estate planning.
- Our firm offers advanced estate planning services that most general practice attorneys do not understand.
- Unlike other firms, all of our legal documents are drafted by an attorney, not a paralegal, ensuring that you get the full benefit of Mr. Setzer’s expertise.
- We offer a unique planning tool to help minimize the risk that your kids will ever end up in the foster system or Child Protective Services, even for an hour, in the event anything happens to you.
- We help you preserve not only your financial wealth, but also your intellectual, emotional, and spiritual wealth that make up the personal legacy you will leave to your family.
- We help you put your financial house in order so that your family will know exactly what property you own, where it is, and what to do with it in the event something happens to you.
- Keeping your estate plan up to date is one of the most important aspects of the planning process. That is why we offer a complimentary, no-fee check-up every three years to make sure that your plan is keeping up with changes to your family, your life, your assets, and the law.
- We are very responsive. One of the most common complaints about lawyers is that they are impossible to get a hold of and never return phone calls. Our communication policy allows you to set a specific time for a call-back from Mr. Setzer, usually on the same day, so that we can ensure you will be available and avoid the back-and-forth of phone tag.
If you would like to speak to us about drafting your Last Will and Testament or just to get more information, please give us a call at 704-288-4700. The call is free and there is no obligation.