Preserving Your Family’s Legacy
When you consider what you want to leave behind, chances are that you’re concerned with your family’s legacy such as memories and life lessons as well as with the assets you’ll leave behind. At The Law Offices of Cheryl David, our priority is preserving your legacy – from money and real estate to family stories and heirlooms. Our experienced attorneys will listen carefully to your needs to create an estate plan that balances current North Carolina law with your family’s values and goals.
One of the greatest obstacles to your family’s legacy is the probate process. When your estate passes through probate, the court controls the distribution of your assets. If you have a Will, the court follows the terms of your Will. If you don’t have a Will, the court follows the laws of your state of residence to determine the distribution of your estate. Families are frequently surprised to learn that the estate doesn’t pass to the individuals they assumed would receive the estate. Often, probate can result in significant costs to your estate and heirs. If you desire to spare your loved ones the ordeal of probate, you will need a plan, such as a Living Trust crafted by a well-qualified attorney. While probate can put a dent your family’s hard-earned resources, The Law Offices of Cheryl David can provide you with options for better securing your family’s assets.
Traditionally, Wills act as the cornerstone of good estate planning. A well drafted Will outlines your wishes for the distribution of your property, including real estate, valuables, and so on. A Will also names the executor of your estate who will handle the administration of your estate. A Will also names guardians if you have any minor children. However, a Will is not the only document that can play a prominent role in your comprehensive estate plan. Speaking with an attorney can help you determine which estate planning components are right for your unique situation.
Living Trusts are also known as Revocable Trusts. Trusts which are set up correctly offer a useful tool when it comes to avoiding probate. Creating a Living Trust can aid your efforts to shield your assets from probate. Unlike a will, which requires court verification upon a person’s death, trusts create a separate entity that holds your assets away from court intervention. The proactive creation of a trust will enable you to exercise more control over your assets than you would have with a will. Because different trusts are appropriate in different situations, a skilled estate planning attorney can help you navigate the options and make a choice that will most benefit you and your family.
As a legal entity in and of itself, a living trust provides you with an “umbrella” under which you may hold and manage your assets. Within the structure of a living trust, you have lifelong access to act upon, amend, or dissolve your trust. Once you pass away, successor trustees whom you appoint can continue serving your family’s legacy. Living trusts present a unique means of ensuring that your assets remain intact in case your heirs remarry, divorce, experience lawsuits, or lack financial experience. The Law Offices of Cheryl David can prepare a trust document and transfer assets in a way that protects your legacy for your heirs’ benefit.
Are you or a loved one concerned about paying for care in a long-term health facility? If so, an Irrevocable Trust may assist you with shielding your family’s assets from prohibitive medical expenses. In certain cases, an irrevocable trust may also help you qualify for Medicaid without losing all your assets. Because Irrevocable Trusts may not be suitable to your family’s circumstances, and there are certain restrictions and time limitations that may need to be followed, good advice from an estate planning attorney is crucial to discovering your best course of action.
No one wants to experience the distressing process of a loved one becoming ill and the bills that ensue from the care which is necessary. If your family or friends find themselves in this position, maintaining assets becomes a top priority. A serious illness can severely deplete the wealth your family has built over a lifetime – or even generations. Consulting with an attorney familiar with up-to-date asset protection laws can prevent your family from suffering a significant loss.
Long-Term Care Planning
As life expectancy continues to rise for the average American, concerns about the quality of life rather than the length of life begin to creep into conversations around aging. While you likely have the luxury of choosing how you spend your retirement years, what would happen if medical visits and expenses suddenly increase? If you, your spouse, or a family member requires long-term healthcare in a facility, it is critical that you pre-plan how you are going to pay before illness strikes. The Law Offices of Cheryl David offers clients ample long-term care planning resources, so you can ensure lifelong security for yourself and your loved ones. Just as your healthcare provider works with you to manage your health, our skilled attorneys will match you with solutions that can mitigate your healthcare costs.
Are you charitably inclined? If so, our team of attorneys can assist you in establishing charitable giving and making sure that it’s a win-win for you as well as the organizations you support. Our attorneys will work with you to maximize both your philanthropic contributions and your tax benefits. Even your heirs can benefit from your generosity to charity since income preservation and tax planning goes hand-in-hand with charitable planning.
Tax Sensitive Planning
In larger estates, estate planning can help minimize estate tax. If you are apprehensive about estate tax, gift tax, capital gains tax, or other state and federal taxation issues, The Law Offices of Cheryl David can help. Our skilled team of attorneys will work with you to build tax sensitive planning into your estate plan. By utilizing Trust planning efficiently, you can work to alleviate undue tax burden on your estate. This will enable you and your family to feel continued peace of mind about your family’s assets.
Special Needs Trusts
If you care for a loved one with special needs, you understand how imperative it is for that person to receive continuous and compassionate care for the duration of their life. During your life, you have been proactive in obtaining benefits and providing care which assures their health and security. If you someday become unable to care for your loved one with special needs, their stable future may be placed at risk. A special needs trust can help guarantee that your loved one remains nurtured and supported whether you yourself are present or absent. Special Needs Trusts will also help protect assets which would likely be lost if such planning is not in place or is used inappropriately.
Do you love your pets and worry about their future without you? If so, our team of attorneys can assist you to make sure that your pets will be well taken care of when you pass away. Our attorneys will work with you to maximize both the care of your pets and the planning which is necessary to make sure that they are well taken care of and loved after you’re gone. Your pets and caretakers will thank you for your foresight in planning which is often forgotten.
The Law Offices of Cheryl David exists to support you and your family through both comfortable times and times of transition. If you have created a trust or have been appointed as a trustee and feel uncomfortable administering the trust, our attorneys can oversee the process for you. Our attorneys are extremely skilled and will show sensitivity to your concerns during this challenging time. Our capable attorneys will also make certain that the trust administration is carried out exactly as instructed in the trust. For more information, contact The Law Offices of Cheryl David at (336) 547-9999 or [email protected].