January 2018 Archives

About trusts

A trust is used to transfer certain assets to a trustee, who will manage or hold the assets for the intended heir. North Carolina residents can use a trust if they want to reduce the amount of taxes on their estate, bypass the lengthy probate process and protect their assets. Individuals who create a trust are able specify to who and how the assets placed in the trust will be distributed.

Planning your estate to include a new spouse and stepchildren

Estate planning is important, but not many people realize the value of making these plans until it is too late. This often leaves loved ones with the frustration and confusion of probate without the guidance of a will or other document. You may be among those who have created an estate plan. Even if it is just a simple will, you have taken a bold step to protect your family.

Reason to update an estate plan

Some Charlotte residents might want to revise their estate plan given the changes to estate plan exemptions that were part of the tax bill passed in December 2017. The 2017 exemption limit for couples was $10.9 million, and some people might have designed their estate plans to try to avoid or reduce additional taxes. Vehicles such as life insurance trusts and credit bypass trusts might have been created for this purpose. The new exemption limit for couples is $22 million, and most people will no longer need those tools. However, reviewing an estate plan periodically is important for everyone regardless of their income level.

Choosing trustees

People in North Carolina should give careful consideration when selecting a trustee option. In many cases, it may be necessary to look outside of one's own family to choose the right person to handle complicated estate matters or to have someone within a reasonable distance who can fulfill the duties appropriately.

How to make the role of executor easier to handle

If a North Carolina resident is named the executor of an estate, that person is responsible for overseeing and protecting an estate's assets throughout the probate process. While the job may seem overwhelming, it may be possible to do it properly by staying organized. An important step in settling an estate's affairs is to obtain a death certificate. Typically, multiple copies will be needed, and executors should order more than they think will be needed.

Estate planning for everyone

Estate planning is something every North Carolina resident should do regardless of how much money they have or how old they are. If individuals have no legal provisions in place when they die, a variety of fees and court costs can be assessed on any money and other assets that may have been meant for a loved one.

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