Everyone can use estate planning and a will, whether you are rich, poor, young or old. If you do not have a will, the state of North Carolina will decide how your assets will be distributed through its intestacy laws. Estate planning and a properly drafted will and/or trust can provide for asset distribution to your spouse, children, grandchildren and/or other family. For those with substantial assets, consideration must be made for Federal and North Carolina tax laws.
For those with minor children, a will is imperative to provide for guardianship and trusts in the event of the death of both parents.
In addition to wills and trusts, many individuals need health care agency designations, living wills and general powers of attorney.
Years of Experience with Wills, Estate Planning, & Trusts
Our wills, estates, and trusts practice at Mast Law Firm has over four decades of experience with meeting the needs of our clients and their families. We have followed our estate plans from drafting and execution, through revision, and all the way through probate administration and final distribution. With careful drafting, a will can survive all of these steps intact, minimize taxes, and whether any challenges that dissenters attempt to make.
We also have over four decades of experience representing clients who are contesting wills or defending against the construction of a will. Wills and trusts can be set aside in certain circumstances, such as when the person who executed the will or trust agreement lacked the mental capacity to sign the document or when that person was subjected to the undue influence of another person.
An estate plan is not limited to a will; you can set up a variety of legal arrangements to safeguard your assets. Trusts can hold assets for safekeeping, and your estate plan can also encompass living wills and powers of attorney, Our attorneys can handle all of these matters. Call our Smithfield, North Carolina office at (919) 934-6187, or toll-free at (800) 280-6676 or our Cleveland/Garner office at (919) 661-2005. You can also contact us through this website. For more information on our legal practices visit our legal services page.
What is Estate Planning?
Regardless of how large or small your assets may be, it’s important that you designate friends or family members who can manage your assets for you and make health care decisions should you be incapable. Nobody wants to see that day, but you never know when it will come. We can help you gather a comprehensive list of all of your assets to make distribution one day that much easier. We’ll help you make sure you have the titles and assets in your name that you need.
What is a Will?
A will is the most basic document involved in estate planning. Its purpose is to accurately reflect the wishes of the deceased in a court of law as to the distribution of all assets such as money, property, or land. Anyone who wants a say in how their estate is divided and doesn’t want it caught up in and ultimately decided by the courts needs to have an accurate and up-to-date will created with your attorney and/or family members.
What is a Trust?
So on a face level, a trust is a legal document established by an individual (called the settlor) for the benefit of another individual (the beneficiary) and is often going to be managed by a third party (the trustee). This trustee is then able to control the assets under it and manage and distribute them as needed. The need for a trust is on a very case-by-case basis depending on the needs of your family. Not all situations are going to warrant putting a legal trust together, but they are incredibly useful for many people. In simple terms, you can look at a will as a document that says who gets what. A trust determines who gets what and when they get it. Maybe you’ve got a spouse who is terrible with money? A marriage on the rocks with a child you want to make sure is taken care of. Maybe you want to leave your special needs grandchild a nice amount of money to live off of. Whatever the case, Mast Firm can get the trust you need written up just how you want it.
Call our Smithfield, North Carolina office at (919) 934-6187, or toll-free at (800) 280-6676 or our Cleveland/Garner office at (919) 661-2005. You can also contact us through this website. For more information on our legal practices visit our legal services page.