Estate Planning Law
Serving North Carolina
At The Farrell Law Group, our services include counsel on the preparation of estate plans, and the administration of trusts and estates. Our lawyers have many years of experience assisting clients throughout North Carolina, regarding estate planning matters.
Estate Planning Basics
At the present time, estates valued at under $5 million, and totaling $10 million for married couples, generally require little or no estate tax planning. However, it is critical that you have a will to insure that your estate is distributed as you wish, and that the assets of your estate are properly managed.
If you have minor children you should consider establishing a trust to manage the assets of your estate. It is critical that you also have guardians appointed for your minor children. Additional documents such as a durable power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, and declaration of a desire for a natural death are also standard parts of an effective estate plan.
Also, implementing a revocable living trust may greatly simplify the probate process, and significantly reduce estate administration fees and costs.
Estate Planning for High-Net-Worth Individuals
For estates valued at more than $5 million, and $10 million for married couples, tax planning as part of any estate plan is advised. Failure to do this can be very expensive, often resulting in the imposition of substantial taxes that could have been easily avoided. There are also estate planning "tools" that can minimize taxes while fulfilling both your lifetime and estate desires, such as irrevocable trusts, charitable trusts, gifts, etc. (See also our FAQs for Estate Planning in North Carolina.)
Finally, for business owners there are important decisions that need to be made eventually about transferring the ownership of a business to later generations, or even employees, in the most "seamless" and financially beneficial way. Providing for the business owner now, while passing the business to others for the future, is part of an estate plan for any business owner. (See also our FAQs About Business Succession Plans.)
At The Farrell Law Group, our lawyers address practical needs above theoretical ones. In estate planning, for example, we do not bring clients into overly complex plans involving complex trust agreements when wills, powers of attorney, and health care directives will suffice. Our approach is effective in meeting client needs while saving them the expense and hassle of overly complicated plans and proceedings.