A solid estate plan can help protect your assets and ensure that your family has financial support after your death. Therefore, it is never too early to appoint a North Carolina estate planning lawyer to help secure your family’s future. Here, you’ll find information on what estate planning attorneys do and how you can find the best estate planning lawyer in North Carolina to help create a solid plan that carries out your final wishes.
A North Carolina estate planning lawyer (also known as a will planning attorney or probate lawyer) is a legal professional who specializes in probate court processes, including estate planning. The lawyer’s main role is to help protect his or her clients’ wealth and ensure that all of their assets are structured in a tax-efficient way so that those who are left behind can benefit. An attorney ensures that the financial situation of your loved ones is protected after you pass away to give stability for their future. Estate planning is also the best way to avoid litigation against your estate following death.
Estate planning law encompasses many different factors, but North Carolina estate planning attorneys are experts in their field. Below are just some of the tasks and procedures they can assist with:
Anyone who reaches adulthood should consider hiring a lawyer for estate planning in North Carolina. It might seem like death is far off, but accidents and tragedies do happen unexpectedly. Therefore, all adults can benefit from dedicated estate planning. However, hiring a North Carolina estate planning attorney does become more essential the older a person gets. Older people are relying on the person for support and the more substantial assets that the person owns.
When you are choosing a lawyer for estate planning, it is best to work with a local firm in your area. By choosing a local attorney, you can ensure that he or she is aware of the state law and other rules and regulations that can vary depending on location. Different states have different laws; thus, the legal advice you are given needs to be specific to you.
So, you ask, how can I find an estate planning lawyer in my area? There are three main options:
Having found several law firms, you won’t want to hire the first one you come across. You will want to find the best estate planning lawyer in North Carolina that is a good fit for you and your budget. Here are some questions you should ask when searching for an attorney:
You can expect a North Carolina estate planning attorney to charge a flat fee for helping to write wills and other legal documents, as well as appointing power of attorney and carrying out other estate management tasks. However, prices can vary widely, depending on the experience of the law firm and what tasks you need help with, and the size of your estate. The creation of a standard will cost less than $1,000, whereas establishing power of attorney for complex estates can cost more than $10,000.
On the other hand, some lawyers for estate planning in North Carolina charge by the hour. This is more likely to be the case if you require ongoing support and management of the estate and explanations of your legal rights in the case of disputes. Again, hourly rates vary between firms, and rates upwards of $300 per hour are not uncommon.
No, most of the best estate planning lawyers in North Carolina do not charge a consultation fee. They recognize this as a chance for you to both get to know each other and determine if there is a good fit. It is a chance for them to sell themselves to you, so they typically don’t charge. However, don’t assume that this means all law firms won’t charge for a consultation. Some firms charge a flat fee for consultations, while others charge their usual hourly rate.
If you don’t draft an estate plan or will, all of your assets will pass according to state law. In most states, your entire estate will be distributed to your spouse or, where there is no spouse, to children and other close relatives.
There is no “right time” to consider estate planning; it depends on you and your situation. We always advise anyone in adulthood to prepare for the unexpected, no matter how young. However, estate planning becomes more important the older you get, the more significant assets you own, and the more children and family members you have depending on you.
Writing and executing an estate plan with the help of a North Carolina estate planning attorney is the best thing you can do to help protect your assets. It is also helpful to make a list of all assets and debts and inform your executor of the list’s location. You’ll also want to set up a durable power of attorney for someone who can make decisions on your behalf when you become incapable of doing so.