May 2017 Archives

Why trusts can be superior to wills

When North Carolina residents die, their estate may go through the probate process. This can be a long and expensive process that prevents beneficiaries from getting their inheritance. However, this process may be avoided if people create a trust to hold some or all of their assets. The assets in the trust avoid probate because they are owned by the trust as opposed to the estate.

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).

Advantages and disadvantages of life estates

A North Carolina resident who has a home to pass to beneficiaries might want to consider a life estate as an alternative to using a will or a trust to transfer the property. The advantage of a life estate over a will is that the home will not be tied up in probate while heirs must continue paying property tax and a mortgage. With a life estate, the property is transferred automatically to heirs on the owner's death.

Trusts as estate planning vehicles

North Carolina residents who are interested in using trusts as part of their estate plan should know how many ways they can be used. People's financial circumstances as well as their financial and estate planning goals will be significant factors.

Wonder if Old McDonald had an estate plan?

Next to trucking, most people consider farming to be the backbone of this nation. Many North Carolina residents make their livings tilling the land and producing crops that provide sustenance and profit to millions of people from east to west. If you're part of a family that's been farming the same land for decades, you've likely had one or more conversations about the future, specifically: what's to become of the family farm when the current owners pass from this life.

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.

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