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North Carolina Estate Planning Tip Sheet

Choosing to begin estate planning is something that everyone in the Greensboro, North Carolina area should do. It’s also something that far too many people put off, or never get around to doing. Before you begin the estate planning process, there are a several tips you should keep in mind. Though your estate planning attorney will give you more detailed advice and guidance, the following tips can help you keep perspective as you develop your plan.

Tip 1. Estate plans address the inevitable.

Though it can be an uncomfortable truth to accept; you, and everyone you know, will die one day. After you die you will leave behind an estate. Your estate is the collection of property you owned while alive. After you die, your estate will have to pass to new owners. The process of identifying who those new owners will be, and how you want your estate handled after you die, is what estate planning is all about.

Tip 2. Incapacity plans address the possible.

Everyone dies, but not everyone loses the ability to make choices. Incapacity plans are a key part of estate plans, but they aren’t designed to apply to your estate after you die. Instead, incapacity plans address the very real possibility that you, or someone close to you, will one day lose the ability to communicate, make decisions, or otherwise remain mentally sound.

Tip 3. Estate plans involve multiple pieces that are designed to work together.

There is no single tool or legal device that you can create that will give you a comprehensive estate plan. Estate planning involves looking at all the different tools that are available, understanding the benefits and drawbacks those tools provide, and deciding on which tools best suit your needs and desires. Relying on any single legal device to protect all of your estate planning interests is a recipe for disaster.

Tip 4. Estate plans change over time.

Creating an estate plan is something that takes time and effort. It’s also something that you need to do on a regular basis. The initial creation of your plan will take the most time, but regularly reviewing and updating the plan’s pieces is a necessity. Your estate planning lawyer will tell you when important changes in the law take place, but you need to make it a point to regularly review your plan to make sure it still reflects your desires.

Tip 5. You need a lawyer.

Creating a comprehensive estate plan is not something most people can do without assistance. Researching relevant issues, making decisions about your estate, and talking to others about your wishes are all necessary parts of the planning process. You should never attempt to create a plan without the guidance of an experienced lawyer who specializes in estate planning.

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