Estate Planning Attorneys in Greensboro, NC
Comforting and Helpful Advice in Difficult Times
As you have spent a lifetime accumulating personal assets, it is important that you get skilled legal representation to help you protect, preserve, and properly distribute these assets for future generations. Our estate planning attorneys have extensive experience in the areas of estate planning, Elder Law, and estate administration.
As each client’s personal assets are different, each client needs an individualized approach to achieve their estate planning needs. As experienced estate planning attorneys, we don’t believe in “cookie cutter” wills, which are designed as a one-size-fits-all form. Instead, we take the time to sit down and talk to you about what your goals are, and we create custom documents to fulfill those goals. Some options include but certainly aren’t limited to:
- Wills (simple, testamentary, joint)
- Living Wills
- Trusts (all kinds)
- Power of attorney (financial, medical directive, durable/non-durable)
- Guardianship (general, of the estate)
As a will and trust attorney, we pay special attention to the tax ramifications that these vehicles may create.
What is Elder Law?
Elder Law is a specialized area of legal practice that focuses on legal issues affecting older adults and their families. It encompasses a wide range of legal matters, including estate planning, Medicaid planning, long-term care planning, guardianship, and conservatorship.
When it comes to estate planning, Elder Law attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience in creating comprehensive plans that address the unique needs of older individuals. They help clients protect and distribute their assets, minimize tax liabilities, and ensure their wishes are carried out after their passing.
In addition to estate planning, Elder Law attorneys also assist with Medicaid planning, which involves structuring assets and income in a way that allows individuals to qualify for Medicaid benefits while preserving their wealth. They can guide families through the complex process of applying for Medicaid and help them navigate the eligibility requirements.
Elder Law lawyers also play a crucial role in addressing issues related to long-term care planning. They help individuals plan for the cost of nursing home care or in-home care by exploring options such as long-term care insurance, veteran's benefits, and other government assistance programs.
Another important aspect of Elder Law is guardianship and conservatorship. If an individual becomes incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves, an Elder Law attorney can help establish a legal guardianship or conservatorship to ensure their needs are met and their affairs are properly managed.
Why Choose Ivey McClellan for Your Greensboro, NC Estate Planning Needs
When it comes to estate planning, choosing the right attorney is crucial. At Ivey McClellan, we have over 70 years of combined experience in providing top-notch estate planning services to clients in Greensboro, NC, and the surrounding areas of the Piedmont Triad. Here's why you should choose us for your estate planning needs:
- Experience: With our extensive experience in the field, we have encountered a wide range of estate planning scenarios. We understand the intricacies of estate planning laws and have the knowledge to navigate complex legal issues. Our team is well-equipped to handle any challenges that may arise during the process.
- Comprehensive Approach: We take a comprehensive approach to estate planning to ensure that your plan is bulletproof and won't be legally challenged by an upset family member. We thoroughly analyze your assets, discuss your goals and wishes, and develop a customized plan that addresses your unique needs. Our attention to detail ensures that every aspect of your estate plan is carefully considered and implemented.
- Client Satisfaction: We take pride in providing excellent service to our clients. Our satisfied clients are a testament to the quality of our work and the level of satisfaction they experience when working with us. We prioritize open communication, actively listening to our client's concerns, and guiding them through the estate planning process with compassion and expertise.
- Wealth of Resources: At Ivey McClellan, we have a wealth of resources at our disposal to ensure that we provide the best possible service to our clients. We stay up-to-date with the latest changes in estate planning laws and utilize cutting-edge technology and research tools to develop effective estate plans.
Common Estate Planning Issues
Estate planning is an important process that everyone should undertake to ensure their assets are protected and their wishes are carried out after their passing. However, there are several common estate planning issues that individuals may encounter. Here are some of the most frequent challenges faced in estate planning and how they can be addressed:
- Disputes over who will be the power of attorney: One common issue in estate planning is disagreements among family members regarding who will have the authority to make financial and medical decisions on behalf of the individual in case of incapacity. Our experienced attorneys can help you draft clear and legally binding power of attorney documents to avoid any conflicts and ensure that your wishes are upheld.
- Lack of medical directives: Without a medical directive, decisions regarding end-of-life care can become a source of tension and uncertainty for your loved ones. Our team can guide you through the process of creating a comprehensive medical directive, including a living will and a healthcare proxy, to ensure that your medical wishes are known and respected.
- Triggering the estate tax with life insurance: Life insurance policies can provide financial security for loved ones after your passing. However, if not structured correctly, these policies can trigger estate taxes, potentially depleting the intended benefits for your beneficiaries. An experienced estate planning attorney can help design a strategy to minimize estate taxes while maximizing the benefits of life insurance policies, ensuring that your loved ones receive the full amount you intended.
- Making children joint owners of your assets: Some individuals may choose to make their children joint owners of their assets to avoid probate and simplify the transfer of ownership. However, this approach can have unintended consequences. Joint ownership can expose assets to the creditors or divorces of your children, potentially putting your hard-earned wealth at risk. An estate planning attorney can provide alternative solutions that protect your assets while still allowing for a smooth transfer of ownership.
- Failure to title a trust: Trusts are a valuable estate planning tool, but they must be properly titled and funded to be effective. We will guide you through the process of titling your trust and ensuring your assets are properly funded into the trust, allowing for a seamless transfer of assets and avoiding probate.
Our estate planning attorneys are here to help with all of the issues mentioned above. Give us a call at 336-274-4658 to get started today.
Wills and Trusts
When it comes to estate planning, wills and trusts are two essential tools that individuals can use to ensure their assets are protected and their wishes are carried out after their passing. At Ivey McClellan, our experienced estate planning team in Greensboro, North Carolina can guide you through the process of creating wills and trusts that are tailored to your specific needs. Here are some key types of wills and trusts to consider:
- Living Trusts: A living trust allows you to transfer assets into a trust while you are still alive. This can help avoid probate and ensure a seamless transfer of assets to your chosen beneficiaries.
- Inter Vivos Trusts: Similar to a living trust, an inter vivos trust is created during your lifetime. This type of trust can help minimize estate taxes and provide for the management of your assets if you become incapacitated.
- Pass-through Trusts: Also known as a bypass trust or a credit shelter trust, a pass-through trust allows married couples to take full advantage of their individual estate tax exemptions, ultimately reducing their overall tax liability.
- Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts: Revocable trusts can be altered or revoked during your lifetime, providing flexibility. Irrevocable trusts, on the other hand, cannot be changed once established. Both types of trusts have their benefits and considerations, and our team can help you determine which option is best for your situation.
Expert Estate Planning and Administration
Ivey McClellan also has extensive experience assisting individuals in administering wills and estates. As administering an estate is not an easy task, and one that no individual should undertake unguided, our firm is able to give you the personal attention and advice you need to properly satisfy claims against the estate and administer assets in the estate in accordance with the wishes of the decedent and the laws of the state of North Carolina. We can help you carry your case from beginning to end or get involved in whatever stage you decide you need assistance with.
Please contact our office to talk with an attorney who can help you with your estate planning and estate administration needs.
Estate Planning FAQs
Do I need an estate plan if I don't have a large estate?
Absolutely. Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. It is essential for anyone who wants to protect their assets, ensure their wishes are carried out, and minimize potential conflicts among loved ones.
What is probate, and how can I avoid it?
Probate is the legal process of distributing a person's assets after their passing. To avoid probate, you can establish a living trust, transfer assets into the trust, and designate beneficiaries. This allows for a seamless transfer of assets outside of probate.
Is a will stronger than a living trust?
While both a will and a living trust can be used to distribute your assets, a living trust may offer more benefits. Unlike a will, a living trust can help you avoid probate, maintain privacy, and provide for the management of your assets if you become incapacitated.
Can I change the trustees or trustors of my trust?
Yes, you can typically change the trustees or trustors of your trust. This can be done through a trust amendment or restatement. It's important to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that these changes are made legally and effectively.
How often should I update my estate plan?
It's generally recommended to review your estate plan every three to five years or when significant life changes occur. This includes changes in marital status, the birth or adoption of a child, or the acquisition or sale of a significant asset.