March 2018 Archives

Is your estate plan incomplete without a prenup?

You never expected it to happen, but you are on the cusp of your second marriage. This time, you feel like you have found the one, and you are ready to start this new chapter in your life. Entering a second marriage is not something you intend to do with blinders on. If your first marriage ended badly, you may feel it is dangerous to throw caution to the wind.

Tax law may not harm charitable giving

The passage of the tax reform bill in December 2017 has left some North Carolina residents confused about what it might mean for their estate plans. People may be concerned about charitable giving and the estate tax exemption increase and be unsure of what the changes might mean for them.

How to tell if an estate plan isn't complete

Ideally, residents of North Carolina will review their estate plans on a regular basis. Failing to do so could mean that it is missing key components such as an advanced medical directive or a will. It could also mean that the plan doesn't have updated beneficiary designations or that assets are distributed outright instead of in a trust. Ultimately, this may mean that a plan is executed against a person's true wishes.

Using trusts for adult children

Many North Carolina residents may want to avoid the estate planning mistake of bequeathing their assets directly to their children. Adult children who lack financial maturity could end up squandering direct inheritances.

Possible benefits of avoiding probate

When North Carolina residents die, their assets may need to go through probate. However, there are strategies that a person may employ to skip this process. This may allow an estate to transfer assets in a timely manner, which may provide clarity to beneficiaries as to what they will receive and when. Avoiding probate may also save an estate money.

Do I need to change my will before my divorce?

You signed your will and created a revocable living trust. You established your advance directive plan, including your living will and power of attorney. Most likely, you named your spouse as the primary beneficiary and proxy on these documents as well as on any life insurance, investments or pay-on-death accounts.

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