Did you know that having a will means probate, and potentially probate court? Without an estate plan, your estate cannot be settled without the delays and court fee costs - plus, your assets will be a matter of public record. With an estate plan, you can avoid the probate process entirely. Not only does this save your family legal costs and attorney fees, it makes the process much easier for your spouse and family.
Do you own a business? Without an estate plan, your family could lose control of the business. With an estate plan, you choose who will own and control the business after you die. Plus, you can avoid having the business and its assets frozen after you die.
Do you have a 401(k), IRA, or similar retirement account? Without an estate plan, your designated beneficiary may not reflect your current wishes, and may result in burdensome tax consequences for your heirs. With an estate plan, you can choose your preferred beneficiary, and control access to large accounts - plus, you determine who gets what is left.
Would you prefer that your assets stay in your own family? Sure - who wants to give their hard earned money and the assets they have accumulated over their lifetime to any person outside of their family? Without an estate plan, your child's spouse may end up with your money. If your child divorces, half of your assets could potentially go to that in-law spouse. With an estate plan, you can set up a trust that ensures that your assets will stay in your family, and pass down to your grandchildren.
If you die, will your spouse and children be able to survive financially? Without an estate plan, if you go into a nursing facility before you die, your family will be unable to maintain its current living standard. With an estate plan, you can protect your assets and give your family financial security.
Were you aware that an inheritance can cost your child their disability benefits? Without an estate plan, a child with special needs may be disqualified from receiving benefits, forcing the use of his or her inheritance to pay for care. With an estate plan in place, you can set up a Special Needs Trust that will allow the child to remain eligible for government benefits while using the trust assets to provide more support for your child.
What if your family is a blended family due to prior marriages? Without an estate plan, children from prior marriages may be accidentally disinherited. With an estate plan, you can support your current spouse and provide for your children from a prior marriage at the same time.
Who will inherit your assets if you die without a will? Without an estate plan, your assets will pass to heirs the laws of North Carolina dictate. With an estate plan, you decide who gets your assets, when, and how they receive them. Plus, you avoid the expense of lawyers and the government for having to sort out the mess of not having an estate plan.