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Estate Planning for Beginners: Things to Include

In this series, we’re guiding you through the basic steps of estate planning in Cary NC for beginners. In the first post, we explained what an estate is and that everyone has one. It does not matter whether you only own a few things, or if you own several cars and homes and have millions of dollars in investments, you have an estate. An estate is simply anything you own that will be disbursed upon your death.

Estate Planning in Cary NC For Beginners

If you have an estate plan in place, your wishes will be carried out according to it. If you do not, then the courts are left to decide who gets what. It is usually determined by the order of succession, starting with a surviving spouse, then children, then other family members. If you have other plans for how your assets should be distributed, those need to be outlined in your estate plan.
So, what is included when estate planning in Cary NC? Let’s take a look.
In order to have a say in what happens to your estate, you will need to include a last will and testament in your estate plan. A will outlines what you want to happen to your assets. You can name heirs for everything you own, including property, family heirlooms, bank accounts, investments, and more.
A will can also outline guardianship if you have children and pass away before they are legal adults. If you do not name a caretaker for them, the courts are left to decide. Even if you have a spouse who would be left to care for them, you need to have a plan should something happen to both you and your spouse at the same time. It is not a pleasant thought to have, but it could be a reality. You want to make sure that your children are going to be taken care of by someone of your choosing.
You will also name an executor in your will. This person will oversee the process of distributing your assets according to your instructions. You will want to choose a responsible person that you trust. Be sure to let him or her know in the event that he or she wants to decline. Being an executor is a large responsibility and the person you choose must be willing to take it on. If you have a large estate and want to make it easier to transfer to your heirs, you can create a living trust. You will be the owner of it during your lifetime, but upon your death, it will be transferred to the person or persons you name. The biggest advantage of doing this is to avoid probate, which is when the court has to oversee the distribution of your assets. You can save money in fees by establishing a living trust in your estate plan.
If you're interested in learning more about estate planning in Cary NC for beginners, be sure to visit back with our next blog post soon. Ready to start creating a plan? Contact Eldreth Law Firm, PLLC to make an appointment.
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