Estate Planning

February 9, 2017

What Does Probate Administration Involve?

The complexity involved with probate administration largely depends on the size of your estate. In fact, even with a will, if you have a small estate, you may be able to avoid the formal probate process and administer the estate through an affidavit. In North Carolina, you can submit an affidavit to the superior court clerk in the county where your loved one lived. The affidavit is an option when the value of the decedent’s personal property is less than $20,000 or when it is less than $30,000 and the spouse inherits everything under state law. Personal property does not […]
February 9, 2017

Should You Be Concerned about Probate and Probate Litigation?

One purpose of estate planning is for asset protection, but another purpose is to avoid probate and potential probate litigation. However, even the best estate plans don’t always keep people out of probate court. By working with an experienced estate planning attorney, you can take actions to avert probate and a contested will as much as possible. According to an American Bar Association (ABA) article, called “Plotting Against Probate“, the following flaws make probate something to avoid: High legal fees that consume a large portion of an estate’s assets Prolonged time in litigation that ties up the estate Failure to […]
February 9, 2017

What Kinds of Legal Issues Can Lead to Trust Litigation?

You hear a lot about parties heading to court to contest wills, but what about trusts? Unlike wills, courts do not supervise trusts unless an interested person brings a legal action, and then the appropriate court assumes its jurisdiction. Interested persons can take legal action to modify or terminate a trust, which is done through the court system. Because trustees have the role of fiduciaries in managing a trust, they are also obligated to comply with certain laws, such as the Uniform Trust Code (UTC). North Carolina, along with numerous other states, has adopted the UTC. Some issues beneficiaries may […]
February 9, 2017

What Rights To Inheritance Do Laws Guarantee for Spouses?

While people can draft wills leaving property to whomever they wish, a surviving spouse has certain rights regardless of how the will is written. A publication by the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) explains that under state law, a surviving spouse, whether husband or wife, has the right to claim a certain percentage of the deceased spouse’s estate despite whatever the will states. The claim is referred to as the spouse’s elective share. A summary of what a spouse can receive includes the following: When you’re the first spouse and your deceased spouse has no surviving descendants (no children), you […]