The process for making decisions regarding how you would like your assets to be distributed at the end of your life is known as estate planning. Using legal documents like wills or trusts could provide you with the means to ensure your final wishes are respected after you pass away.
Our seasoned estate planning attorneys at Apple Payne Law can guide you through the estate planning process in Kernersville and help you avoid the mistakes that could upend your plan entirely.
The ideal estate plan will depend entirely on the goals someone has. That means it is necessary to review the goals a person has for their assets before the planning can begin.
This step of the process starts with a simple evaluation of how a person would like their assets distributed. Once that is done, it is helpful to consider the other aspects of estate planning that are unrelated to the disposition of assets. This could include making end-of-life decisions, considering advanced medical directives, and making other decisions that could impact a person during their life. An understanding Kernersville attorney at Apple Payne Law can help narrow in on the goals of the person going through the estate planning process.
The next step in the process involves a careful review of the assets of an estate. This step is vital given that it is impossible to plan for assets that have not been identified.
Countless assets may be part of an estate. The largest asset involved in many estate plans is the family home. Other substantial assets could include additional pieces of real estate, retirement or financial accounts, a family-owned business, or motor vehicles.
In addition to assets, estate planning also requires a review of a person’s debts. These debts may also have be resolved before assets can be distributed through the estate. As part of the estate planning process a well-versed lawyer at Apple Payne Law will help a family identify property and debts they may have otherwise missed to help ensure the best possible outcome.
After identifying the assets belonging to the estate, it is important to decide who should receive them. The parties entitled to recover from an estate are known as beneficiaries. There could be any number of beneficiaries in an estate plan. Some plans provide for a single beneficiary, while others have numerous potential heirs. While most estate plans potentially include all of the family, some estate plans may wish to include non-family members or exclude family members for various reasons. A dedicated Apple Payne Law attorney in Kernersville can help set the estate plan up so the selected beneficiaries receive the assets intended for them and minimize any potential challenges from disgruntled family members who disagree or don’t like how the estate plan was setup.
There are numerous tools that are useful throughout the estate planning process. While most people are familiar with a last will and testament, this is only one of the tools used in developing a comprehensive estate plan. Another commonly used tool during this process is a trust. Trusts are a useful option that could allow a person to minimize probate. This is valuable, as probate can be a very costly, time-consuming process that exposes the assets of an estate to public scrutiny.
There are also estate planning tools that are important during the life of the estate creator. Documents like power of attorney and living wills allow a person to ensure their wishes are adhered to when it comes to their medical care. This is the case even when that person is no longer able to make their own medical decisions. A trusted attorney with Apple Payne Law in Kernersville will explain all the tools available in the estate planning process.
Every step of the estate planning process in Kernersville is important. From reviewing your goals to selecting beneficiaries, it is important to avoid any errors during every aspect of this process. Reach out to a seasoned lawyer at Apple Payne Law for assistance with your estate.