Many people in North Carolina put off estate planning, and some people pass away before they ever complete their plans. It is important for people to draft their estate plans sooner rather than later so that their families will be left with fewer burdens.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For people in North Carolina, preparing for the future includes an estate plan. Estate planning helps to ease the life of heirs and make a family's emotional pain after the death of a loved one far less complicated, as the distribution of assets is provided for through the use of instruments such as wills, trusts and insurance. However, estate planning isn't only a financial issue that can be used to pass down real and personal property. The estate planning process can also be a time to transfer memories, thoughts and values from elders to their surviving loved ones.
North Carolina residents who leave property to their loved ones may not realize how taxes can affect beneficiaries when they inherit an estate. South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem has come forward to warn others about how the federal government's "death tax" has affected her family. However, according to some experts, it is possible that the problem could have been avoided with a different estate planning strategy.
When people in North Carolina choose to form a charitable trust, they might want them to serve their purpose in perpetuity. Unlike other trusts, a charitable trust has the option of continuing its mission indefinitely. This open-ended feature on some charitable trusts, however, could result in the trust outliving the existence of its beneficiary. An educational institution closing its doors represents an example of a beneficiary ceasing to exist. In this situation, the Cy Pres doctrine sanctions the alteration of the trust so that it can continue.
North Carolina residents or anyone else with assets should consider creating an estate plan. Doing so may provide a level of control over who gets cash inside of a 401k or who gets ownership of a house. An estate plan may also protect beneficiaries who aren't good at managing money from potentially squandering their inheritance. A trust may be an effective tool that may create guidelines for how an inheritance should be used.
People in North Carolina who are getting a divorce may want to consider changing their estate plan as well. If a person dies before the divorce is final or shortly after the divorce, the ex- or soon-to-be-ex-spouse could end up with the person's assets.