People in North Carolina might be aware that the death of George H. W. Bush, the former president, occurred just eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara Bush. The two were married for decades. It is not unusual for spouses who are married for a long time and who have a close marriage to both die within a short time period. While it is likely that the Bushes were careful in their estate planning, the death of both spouses in quick succession can cause some issues.
Residents of Charlotte, North Carolina, and the rest of the U.S. should consider Stan Lee's story as an example of what not to do when planning an estate. Stan Lee spent the last years of his life dealing with multiple business managers and attorneys, but he still left a complicated web for his family to unravel.
Many North Carolina residents want to save time and make life easier for their heirs while also ensuring that their own bills will be paid off in the future. A key goal in estate planning is often to avoid probate and allow property to pass on without having to go to court. This is one reason why many people turn to joint ownership as a way to save time and money.
Trusts are often an attractive method for North Carolina estate owners to pass on wealth outside the probate system. However, it is important that people select the right trustees when setting up a trust. Otherwise, the consequences could be significant for the intended beneficiaries. Trustees have a responsibility to manage assets in the interests of the beneficiaries, but some may be neglectful, disconnected or even corrupt.
Many people in North Carolina want to pass on their assets to their children, and they may see the advantages of planning early on for wealth transfer. By creating trusts earlier in life, people can not only put their estate plans in place but also reap significant tax benefits. At the same time, many people are concerned that they could actually impact their children's lives negatively by letting them know that a large trust fund will be waiting for them.
A parent or grandparent in North Carolina who wishes to fund the education of heirs through an estate plan will need to consider issues like equal treatment and differences in educational costs. Paying for the schooling of multiple heirs could be accomplished by setting up a single pot trust for all of the beneficiaries or separate trusts for each heir.
There are several common estate planning errors that North Carolinians should be careful to avoid. One frequent mistake is failing to fill out beneficiary designation forms for the assets that require them. These may include retirement accounts and life insurance policies.
People in Charlotte who are thinking about making a plan for their estates may be considering how they can integrate their commitment to charitable giving. Many people set goals for philanthropy during and after their lifetimes and hope to create a family commitment to charitable support. There are a number of reasons why people may want to include gifts to charity as part of their estate. For some, they may wish to reap the tax benefits of this approach while others may want to share part of their wealth with a cause they have cared about for many years.
North Carolina residents may point to the management of taxes as the main motive for creating an estate plan. However, there are multiple other reasons why they should consider estate planning.
Trusts are among the most useful tools available for estate planning in North Carolina. They take many forms and can be designed to fit a particular person's situation. The specific structure of a trust determines how it controls assets, how assets are taxed and whether they're protected from creditors. The person who creates the trust is referred to as the settlor or grantor. Once the settlor transfers assets into a trust, they are managed by the trustee according to the trust's provisions.