Many people are tempted to put estate planning in North Carolina off until the last possible minute. People with small estates in particular do not think that there is much that needs to be done which tempts them to put planning off until they feel it can no longer be postponed. The problem with this way of thinking is that last minute estate managing often results in details being forgotten and mistakes being made which can have lasting results.
For many, estate planning in North Carolina begins with making a will. Even though creating a will is an extremely important part of estate planning it is not the only thing that needs to be done. Plans need to be made for managing your estate if you are no longer able to manage it.
In North Carolina individuals have the option of obtaining a "revocable living trust" which gives a trustee the authority to manage assets prior to the grantor's death. This makes it possible for you to rest easy knowing that someone who already understands how your affairs are managed to keep things running smoothly if you are incapable. The authority granted can be revoked, or taken back, at anytime by the grantor.
Starting early will also give you plenty of time to make plans for the future of your children of all ages. In North Carolina the law favors spouses as heirs when wills are not found or are considered to be invalid. While many families do not mind who inherits there could be some hard feelings when older children or step children see spouses inherit all of their parents' property.
Create accounts that are Payable on Death and name your children as beneficiary. This will ensure that children receive all of the funds immediately after your death even if no will is present. Children can also be named as the beneficiaries on life insurance policies. While some companies insist that spouses be named as primary or sole beneficiary these clauses can usually be worked around with a bit of patience or children could be named beneficiary of the largest percent of the policy.
Some couples or individuals that do not have children still have relatives that are dependent on them. Start estate planning early to avoid leaving siblings or parents that depend entirely on you without support. Name guardians for any disabled family members and establish trusts with trustees that will help