Accomplished Attorneys Handling Wills Estates & Trusts Matters in North Carolina
Skilled legal guidance for your estate plan
No one wants to think about planning for what will happen after they die or become incapacitated. However, it is important to ensure that your wishes are met and your family is cared for financially. An attorney at Thorp and Clarke, PA can help you draft estate planning documents that protect your family’s future. Attorney F. Stuart Clarke is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest recognition possible in the legal industry for professionalism and ethics. His experience and skill, combined with the knowledge and talent of our staff, allows us to provide a practical and reliable approach to estate planning.
Comprehensive estate planning assistance in North Carolina
For more than 45 years, our law firm has been helping people in central North Carolina with estate planning matters such as:
- Wills. The goal of a last will and testament is to protect your family and your property after you have passed away. In this document, you can specify who gets your property, name a guardian for your minor children and name an executor to ensure that the terms of your will are employed. If you die without a will in North Carolina, your property will be distributed according to intestacy laws, which automatically pass your assets to your closest living relatives (spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, etc.) An attorney at our firm can help you draft a will that ensures your assets go to the parties that you designate. After your passing, we can help your family execute the will properly, and we can help settle any disputes that may arise.
- Living wills. A living will is a document that ensures that you are taken care of according to your preferences in the event of your incapacitation. In North Carolina, a living will is known as an “advance directive for a natural death.” This document outlines the type of medical treatment that you would or would not like to receive. To accompany your living will, you need a “healthcare power of attorney” document, which names the person who will look after your healthcare needs in the event that you are unable to do so for yourself. If, due to illness, injury or aging, you are unable to manage your own medical care, this will ensure that someone you trust is speaking on your behalf. We can help you draft a living will that clearly outlines your wishes.
- Living trusts. A regular trust is a document that names a trustee to hold legal title to your property. In a living trust, you can be the trustee of your own property while you are alive. You also name a “successor trustee” for after you die. Any property left through the living trust does not have to go through the probate process after your death, which will save your family a lot of hassle and stress. It can also reduce estate taxes. Our attorneys can help you with all the necessary paperwork to ensure that your living trust is properly filed.
- Guardianship. In the unfortunate event that a loved one becomes incapacitated, the court can appoint a guardian to make important decisions. Anyone who knows the person may file a petition for guardianship. The court will order medical, psychological and other evaluations to determine if a person is incompetent, if a guardian is needed and what the guardian’s role will be. Our attorneys can help ensure that an appropriate guardian is appointed and that the needs of the ward are being upheld.
In order to ensure that your wishes are met upon your death or incapacitation, you need to be represented by a knowledgeable and skilled attorney. At our firm, our attorneys know the intricacies of estate planning and are prepared to assist you and your family.
Supporting your family during the probate process
After your loved one dies, their estate may have to go through probate. During the probate process, the executor must gather the deceased’s assets and transfer them to the inheritors. If no executor is named in the will, an administrator will be appointed by the court to take care of the estate. This is also when the deceased’s debts and taxes are paid. The probate process is only necessary if the deceased person owned assets in their own name. If probate is necessary, our law firm can guide you through the process to ensure the deceased’s wishes are met.
Contact an experienced North Carolina trusts and estates attorney today
When it comes to planning for the future of you and your family, trust Thorp and Clarke, PA to provide you with the knowledgeable representation and support you need. Call us today at 910-323-4111 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help. From our office in Fayetteville, we represent clients throughout central North Carolina.