10 Reasons to Create an Estate Plan Now

Many people think that a Raleigh, North Carolina estate planning attorney should be for someone else, not them. They may rationalize that they are too young or don’t have enough money to reap the tax benefits of an estate plan. But as the following list makes clear, estate planning is for everyone, regardless of age or net worth.

  1. Loss of capacity.What if you become incompetent and unable to manage your own affairs? Without an Estate plan, the courts will select the person to manage your affairs. With an Estate plan, you pick that person through a Raleigh health care power of attorney.
  2. Minor children. Who will raise your children if you pass away? Without an Estate plan, a court will make that decision. With an Estate plan, you are able to nominate the guardian of your choice.
  3. Dying without a will.Who will inherit your assets? Without an Estate plan, your assets pass to your heirs according to your state’s laws of intestacy (dying without a will). Your family members (and perhaps not the ones you would choose) will receive your assets without benefit of your direction or of trust protection. With an Estate plan, you decide who gets your assets, and when and how they receive them.
  4. Blended families.What if your family is the result of multiple marriages? Without an Estate plan, children from different marriages may not be treated as you would wish. With an Estate plan, you determine what goes to your current spouse and to the children from a prior marriage or marriages.
  5. Children with special needs. Without an Estate plan, a child with special needs risks being disqualified from receiving Medicaid or SSI benefits, and may have to use his or her inheritance to pay for care. With an Estate plan, you can set up a North Carolina Supplemental Special Needs Trust that will allow the child to remain eligible for government benefits while using the trust assets to pay for non-covered expenses.
  6. Keeping assets in the family.Would you prefer that your assets stay in your own family? Without an Estate plan, your child’s spouse may wind up with your money if your child passes away prematurely. If your child divorces his or her current spouse, half of your assets could go to the spouse. With an Estate plan, you can set up a trust that ensures that your assets will stay in your family and, for example, pass to your grandchildren.
  7. Financial security. Will your spouse and children be able to survive financially? Without an Estate plan and the income replacement provided by life insurance, your family may be unable to maintain its current living standard. With an Estate plan, life insurance can mean that your family will enjoy financial security.
  8. Retirement accounts. Do you have an IRA or similar retirement account? Without an Estate plan, your designated beneficiary for the retirement account funds may not reflect your current wishes and may result in burdensome tax consequences for your heirs. With an Estate plan, you can choose the optimal beneficiary.
  9. Business ownership. Do you own a business? Without an Estate plan, you don’t name a successor, thus risking that your family could lose control of the business. With an Estate plan, you choose who will own and control the business after you are gone.
  10. Avoiding probate.Without an Estate plan, your estate may be subject to delays and excess fees (depending on the state), and your assets will be a matter of public record. With an Estate plan, you can structure things so that probate can be avoided entirely.


If you would like further information, regarding a Raleigh estate planning attorney please contact Anglin Law Firm at 919-803-1516 or Chris Anglin via email at chris@anglinlawfirm.com.

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