trust & probate administration Archives

What to do about passwords in an estate plan

Some North Carolina residents who are creating an estate plan might not have considered what they need to do to ensure their executor or family members have access to any online accounts. The estate planning world is slowly catching up to the digital world, but there is still no standard procedure in place for sharing passwords.

How the probate process can affect an estate plan

When people in Charlotte think about estate planning, they may consider where they want their belongings to go after they die. However, in many cases, they may not fully consider how their choices affect their loved ones, particularly when it comes to dealing with probate and estate administration.

Star Aretha Franklin dies without a will

The death of legendary singer Aretha Franklin has shined a new spotlight for many North Carolina fans on the complications that can ensue from dying without a will. When the 76-year-old star passed away in August after battling pancreatic cancer, she had no will or other estate documents, which could have a significant impact on how her heirs deal with the estate. Her niece has applied to be the executor of the estate while her four sons have declared themselves interested parties before the probate court.

Financial preparations for the future

Some people in North Carolina and other states across the United States will reach a point where they are incapacitated and unable to provide care for themselves without some kind of assistance. As people age, Alzheimer's and other health conditions can impact their daily lives, making it difficult for them to make financial decisions. Any kind of accident could result in someone being incapacitated as well, which can happen at any age.

What happens in the probate process

People in North Carolina who have been appointed executors of a loved one's estate as well as those who have lost loved ones might wonder what the probate process is like and how long it will take. Although this can vary a great deal based on the complexity of the estate and any legal challenges, there is a basic structure that many estates will follow.

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.

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.

Planning for health care during retirement

When making plans for their retirement, North Carolina residents should remember to also include their health care. This is one aspect of retirement that some people fail to plan for, which can result in a major hit on their savings if an unexpected medical crisis occurs.

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