Orsbon & Fenninger, LLP

Estate Planning and Estate Administration

704-900-3883 Phone
888-314-8134 Toll-Free

trust & probate administration Archives

Risk mitigation for trustees

As an increasing number of North Carolina residents are establishing new estate plans, trusts are becoming more complex. Today's trusts contain many more assets, including entire businesses. As new trusts evolve, more litigation is occurring to test these plans. It is important that trustees understand their roles and the potential risks of litigation so that they can protect themselves.

Choosing the right trustee

There are several factors North Carolina residents who are setting up a trust should consider when choosing a trustee. It is important to choose someone who agrees to be a fiduciary. A fiduciary has a legal obligation to look after the settlor's interests. It is also important for the person to have the right expertise. This includes knowledge of tax and investing, but additional specialized knowledge might be necessary as well depending on the nature of the trust. In these circumstances, multiple trustees with different areas of expertise might be appointed.

Plans for long-term living assistance in North Carolina

According to a survey recently conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, just 33 percent of older Americans have saved enough money to pay for long-term care that they may require. The survey also indicated that more than half of Americans who are 40 years of age or older share the belief that the federal government should contribute to long-term care expenses.

Irrevocable life insurance trust administration

An irrevocable life insurance trust may have many estate planning benefits when drafted and administered properly. Trustees in North Carolina are urged to be aware of their fiduciary duties, which means that their administrative actions must be in the trust beneficiary's best interests. They must also be sure that it is administered in accordance with the relevant trust provisions.

How digital data can be handled after one's death

Google’s innovations continue to amaze consumers and intrigue investors. Much has been said about its development of autonomous cars that will allow drivers to sit back and leave the driving to an onboard computer. Indeed, pieces of autonomous driving components can be seen in today’s vehicles (e.g. lane departure warning systems, self-parking mechanisms).

The duties of a trustee

North Carolina residents named as a trustee might wonder what their duties and responsibilities are. While they do not have to be a financial expert, they do need to manage the trust effectively. This may include making new investments to increase the value of the trust or selling some assets to cover expenses. The trustee may work with a financial professional in making these decisions, but it is still a good idea to have a document that explains the investment strategy in case a beneficiary queries it.

Common methods to avoid probate

The probate process may take several months to complete and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees. However, there are ways in which North Carolina residents may be able to prevent their assets from going though probate. The first way to do this is to create a living trust. A single individual can act as the grantor of the trust, the trustee and the beneficiary.

What Willy Wonka teaches about health care

North Carolina residents may be able to learn a lot about long-term care needs from classic movie "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Like Charlie's grandparents in the film, the majority of those over the age of 65 will have long-term care needs. Of the 70 percent of people in that group who need care, not all will require permanent assistance. Instead, care may only be required for weeks or months at a time.

Singers's family takes matter to court

North Carolina residents may know that the singer known as Bobby Vee died in October 2016 because of Alzheimer's disease. He started his career in a February 1958 concert when he filled in for scheduled acts who were killed in a plane crash the morning of the show. Now, two of his children are suing their siblings for mishandling estate money for their benefit and for the benefit of Rockhouse Production.

Can you challenge a testator's mental capacity?

Do you suspect that the will of your parent or other elderly loved one is invalid? Contesting a will is a complicated process because the level of mental capacity required by the law is not high. Only the capability of an individual to make decisions on behalf of him or herself in a rational manner is necessary. It is not the duty of the court to decide whether the contents of a will are foolish, peculiar or eccentric.