Estate Planning & Administration

Wills • Powers of Attorney • Health Care Powers of Attorney • Living Wills • Trusts

A Last Will and Testament allows you to specify what should be done with your assets after your death. Without a will, the distribution is controlled by North Carolina law. Your will can establish a trust for the benefit of minor children or grandchildren, and appoint guardians, trustees and executors. Reviewing your wishes with an estate planning attorney will allow you to be informed about the most cost efficient and simple estate plans.

Clients who reside in another state, but own real estate in North Carolina should speak with an attorney about their estate plan to make sure that North Carolina property is adequately addressed.

Another important part of the estate plan are powers of attorney. A General Power of Attorney allows someone to pay bills and handle business or property transactions, and a Health Care Power of Attorney allows someone to make health care decisions. The General Power of Attorney is effective upon recording with the Register of Deeds, and a Health Care Power of Attorney becomes effective only when a physician determines that you lack the ability to make health care decisions for yourself.

For more information about creating your estate plan, please read our Estate Planning Brochure.

Estate Administration

Probate is the administration of a person’s estate through the office of the Clerk of Court. When a person dies while owning assets, the probate process must be started by an administrator who will settle the decedent’s affairs. The administrator’s job includes notifying creditors and beneficiaries, gathering assets, paying debts, accounting for all property that comes into and goes out of the estate, and properly distributing the decedent’s property. Ron can assist with all of the administrator’s duties so that the family may focus on more important matters.