Family Estate Planning FAQs

My spouse and I have no children. How can we plan for charitable gifts, pets, nieces, and nephews, or other family members we care about? If you have spent your life caring for others and/or supporting charitable causes, you may feel a sense of accomplishment. However, you may be concerned about what will happen when you’re no longer here. You may ponder how you can continue to support your loved ones, pets, or favorite causes. The good news is that you have a wide range of options available to you when it comes to estate planning for such beneficiaries. The Law Offices of Cheryl David’s skilled attorneys can help you craft an estate plan exactly to your specifications. Your attorney can also help you determine whether Wills, Trusts, or other legal instruments are appropriate in your situation.

Daughter kissing her mother.

How can I make provisions for my blended family? Blended families require special planning tailored to each family member. Whether you want to provide for children, protect the inheritance of children from a previous marriage, or ensure your child’s new step-parent doesn’t have access to the estate assets your child will inherit, your estate plan can be drafted to accommodate your blended family’s needs. If you have experienced divorce or remarriage, or if you have adopted a child, conventional estate planning may fail to address your particular needs. For this reason, creating a thorough estate plan with an experienced attorney is essential to your family’s continuing legacy and peace of mind.

My children are unique individuals with different needs. Can I provide for their distinctive needs within my estate plan? Yes, you can address each child’s distinctive needs by creating separate provisions for each child within your estate plan. The Law Offices of Cheryl David’s attorneys are well-versed in developing plans for minor children, adult children whether married or single, and children with disabilities and/or special needs. Your attorney will take your entire family situation into account, as well as each child’s circumstances, when designing your estate plan. This way, you can rest assured that your children will each receive the best plan to ensure that their needs are met.

If my spouse remarries after I pass away, how can I keep my estate directives intact? If you pass away before your spouse, your spouse may subsequently remarry. In such cases, you may wonder what will happen to your assets. With good legal counsel, you can remove the guesswork from these nagging questions. You and your spouse can create Living Trusts now that specify what happens in the eventuality that one of you passes away first. To safeguard your family from confusion or legal battles, it’s in your best interest to decide now what will happen to your money, property, and family heirlooms – and not leave it up to chance. Often, when that occurs, the results can be devastating and children may be inadvertently disinherited.

My children or grandchildren are less experienced than I am with handling money. Is there a means for me to guide their spending as part of my estate plan? By creating an estate plan, you have demonstrated your commitment to managing your assets in a conscientious manner. In addition, you have likely expended time and energy instilling good management habits in your children. If you wish to continue offering guidance to your children long after you pass away, you should inform your attorney so he or she can incorporate special provisions into your estate plan. Means of protecting your assets from poor management include instituting age restrictions on access to funds, creating incentives for certain types of spending, and choosing a trustworthy Trustee to oversee your estate after you pass away.

My spouse, parent, or other family member may require long-term care soon. What steps can I take to prepare for paying their care costs? Regardless of your family’s lifestyle or relative wealth, long-term care costs can place a considerable strain on your family finances. With average costs reaching up to $80,000 annually, families often benefit from Medicaid assistance and long-term care insurance. Unfortunately, North Carolina’s Medicaid program has complex and stringent requirements. Completing Medicaid planning in advance of your need for long-term care may help you qualify for Medicaid while protecting some or all of your land and other assets. Our knowledgeable attorneys can help safeguard your family from the heavy burden of long-term care expenses.

If my loved one has already passed away without an estate plan, how can I obtain help with the probate process? The Law Offices of Cheryl David has a top-notch Probate Department that is well-informed about North Carolina Probate Laws. We are accustomed to the challenges Probate brings. Our Probate team will walk alongside you in your time of grief and handle the legal process to ensure that your estate is properly managed under North Carolina law. Obtaining assistance with Probate allows our office to interact with banks, creditors, and the court, to make the process of probate safer and less stressful for your family.

More questions?

The Law Offices of Cheryl David is available for estate planning consultations on an appointment basis. For more information, please call (336) 547-9999, email us at [email protected], or register to attend one of our monthly educational seminars.

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