Estate Planning

Let Landon A. Dunn, Attorney At Law Help You With Your Estate Planning

Proper estate planning gives one piece of mind knowing that loved ones will be taken care of. Let Landon help you understand the many documents available for estate planning, and pick the ones needed for your circumstances.

With over 35 years of experience in Estate Planning, attorney Landon A. Dunn provides expert advice in a compassionate manner.

An estate planning attorney is a type of lawyer that understands how to advise their clients on their affairs regarding estate planning and assists clients in drafting legal documents including wills and trusts. Estate lawyers help outline the distribution of property and management of assets after a person’s death.

Your estate is everything you own; your car, home, other real estate, investments, checking and savings accounts, life insurance, furniture, and personal possessions. You probably want to control how these things are given to the people you care most about. To make sure that you have things the way you want them, you need to provide instructions stating whom you wish to receive something of yours, what you want them to receive, and when they are to receive it.

Estate planning is beneficial because it allows you to make a plan in advance and name whom you want to receive your possessions. Proper estate planning should also:

  • Include instructions for your care after you die
  • Include instructions for passing your values (religion, education, hard work, etc.) in addition to your valuables.
  • Provide for the transfer of your business

Your plan can also be updated as your family, and financial situations change over your lifetime.

Planning Helps

Individuals put off estate planning because they don’t think they’re old enough, own enough, they’re busy, or they don’t want to think about it. But planning will make sure that you have things the way you want them, and that your family isn’t left to pick up the pieces. Given a choice, wouldn’t you rather these matters be handled by your family and not the courts? Wouldn’t you instead prefer to control who receives what? Knowing that you have a plan in place that you know will protect your family will give you peace of mind.

Personal Wills

A will is the most basic estate-planning tool and is used to direct the distribution of the decedent’s estate. Other tools, such as trusts, may be useful, depending on the size of the person’s estate and whether there are dependent or disabled loved ones in the picture. Depending on your goals, your estate plan may allow your estate to avoid probate entirely. Do not leave these important issues to chance by allowing the State to decide what happens.

An estate plan begins with a personal will. A will provides instructions and is the most basic estate-planning tool that is used to direct the distribution of the decedent’s estate. Any assets titled in your name must go through your state’s probate process before they can be distributed to your family members. This process varies from state to state, but it can become expensive with legal fees and court costs. Other tools, such as trusts, may be useful, depending on the size of the person’s estate and whether there are dependent or disabled loved ones in the picture. Depending on your goals, your estate plan may allow your estate to avoid probate entirely. A revocable living trust is often preferred in some families to avoid probate at death, prevent court control, bring all of your assets together in one plan, and can be changed at any time.

Do not leave these important issues to chance by allowing the State to decide what happens. Let us help you ensure that your will complies with state law, provides the best tax advantage, and accounts for your preferences in specific circumstances. We will make sure that you feel more assured that your will will stand up in court and that your wishes will be followed through.

Landon A Dunn, Attorney At Law Can Help You Prepare Your Personnel Will And Provide Advice On Any Aspect Of Estate Planning…

Myths & Facts About Wills

Myth

  • “It’s too expensive to have a lawyer make my Will.”

Facts

  • Typically the fees for preparing a Will are similar to an accountant’s fees for preparing and lodging a personal tax return – with the benefit that a Will doesn’t always need to be reviewed every year while a tax return does.
  • You must be at least 18 years old, and of sound mind.
  • It must be signed by the testator with the intent to sign or by a person under his/her direction, and in his/her presence.
  • You must have at least two witnesses sign a North Carolina last will and testament in order for it to be valid.
  • A Will in North Carolina may dispose of property to any beneficiary.
  • North Carolina recognizes written Wills, as well as Holographic Wills(handwritten), and Nuncupative Wills(oral).
  • Dying without a valid and up to date will would create a financial nightmare for your loved ones.
  • Mistakes you make with a DIY Will kit won’t become known until you’re gone and it’s too late to fix them.
  • Investing a small amount now might save your family thousands later.

Trusts

Estate planning enables a person to control what happens to his or her assets at the end of his or her life. A will is the most basic estate-planning tool and is used to direct the distribution of the decedent’s estate. Other tools, such as trusts, may be useful, depending on the size of the person’s estate and whether there are dependent or disabled loved ones in the picture. Depending on your goals, your estate plan may allow your estate to avoid probate entirely. Do not leave these important issues to chance by allowing the State to decide what happens.

Wills and Trusts are both planning documents used to pass on your assets after death. Depending on your circumstances, a trust might be more beneficial for your situation.

The following are some reasons why Trusts are an excellent way to pass on your estate:

  • A trust can be used to avoid probate
    • A trust is a useful tool for avoiding probate because assets that are owned in the name of the trust are immediately accessible to the trust-makers successor.
  • A trust can provide creditor protection for the inheritance you leave to beneficiaries
    • A trust allows the maker to protect an estate from the reach of the beneficiaries’ creditors.
  • A trust can protect governmental benefits for a person with disabilities
    • Leaving a trust for beneficiaries with disabilities is the best way to ensure that their government benefits are secured and that the inheritance you leave will be able to pay for expenses.
  • A trust can administer assets for minor beneficiaries without court intervention
    • Creating a trust for passing along assets to minors is the best way to ensure that the court is not involved in the process

If you want to know more about if a trust is right for you, contact our office. Landon A Dunn, Attorney at Law can help you!

Landon A Dunn, Attorney At Law Can Help You Prepare Your Personal Will And Provide Advice On Any Aspect Of Estate Planning.

Powers Of Attorney

Power Of Attorney For Finances

This power of attorney appoints an agent and empowers that person to handle all of your financial affairs. A Financial Power of Attorney can be immediately active or it can be springing, meaning that your designated agent can only act after two physicians agree that you do not have the capacity to manage your own affairs.

A power of attorney is a document that designates someone to make decisions for you on the occasion that you are unable to do so. Drafting a durable power of attorney is a great way to detail how you want to handle matters regarding your health and finances in the event of an emergency. This power of attorney appoints an agent and empowers that person to manage all of your financial affairs.

The financial power of attorney is a document that grants your chosen representative legal authority to act on your behalf for financial issues.

We know that the process of creating a legal document can be a daunting task. Turn to us for assistance with these necessary documents. Landon A Dunn, Attorney at Law can help you!

Landon A Dunn, Attorney At Law Can Help You Prepare Powers Of Attorney And Provide Advice In Any Aspect Of Estate Planning.

Health Care Power Of Attorney

As you are figuring out how to put your estate planning wishes into documents, you’ll also want to consider who will make your medical decisions. The healthcare power of attorney is one of the most critical choices when deciding how you wish you health care decisions handled. A power of attorney for health care designates the person who will make medical decisions for you in an emergency. You should make this as detailed as possible; the person in charge of making your healthcare decisions can never contradict the terms of your health care declaration.

This power of attorney appoints an agent and empowers that person to make important decisions about your medical treatment if you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to make such decisions. The HCPOA that our firm drafts typically includes a Living Will. A Living Will instructs your doctor regarding your wishes about extending your life or, in the alternative, withholding extraordinary measures and/or artificial nutrition and hydration when you are terminally ill or in a persistent vegetative state.

Health care powers of attorney require careful deliberation because they should clearly express your desires, while also obeying the procedural requirements of North Carolina. Let Landon A Dunn, Attorney at Law help you!

Landon A Dunn, Attorney At Law Can Help You Prepare Health Care Powers Of Attorney And Provide Advice On Any Aspect Of Estate Planning.

Power Of Attorney Specific To Real Estate

A power of attorney for real estate allows you to give someone the authority to buy or sell real estate for you or to conduct any other business concerning real estate that you own. A Real Estate Power of Attorney is also handy when needing someone to manage your property. This could include signing lease agreements, negotiating rents, evicting tenants, etc.

Ideally, a power of attorney relating to a real estate transaction should be special and specific to the transaction in question, and it should also be durable. This means that it takes effect or remains in effect if the principal should become incompetent. A principal who is already incompetent cannot authorize a power of attorney. The agent or attorney-in-fact has a legal, fiduciary and ethical duty to act in the best interests of the principal and to keep the principal’s assets and finances quite separate from his own.

If you need assistance or have any questions about a Real Estate Power of Attorney, contact Landon A. Dunn, Attorney at Law!

Landon A Dunn, Attorney At Law, Can Help You Prepare Powers Of Attorney Specific To Real Estate Advice In Any Aspect Of Estate Planning.

Living Will

A living will, despite its name, isn’t at all like the wills that people use to leave property in the event of their death. A living will also be called a directive to physicians or advance directive, is a document that lets people state their wishes for end-of-life medical care, in case they become unable to communicate their decisions. It has no power after death.

A living will is a document that lets people express their wishes for medical care if they become unable to communicate their decisions. It has no power after death. Without a living will, the laws in your state could determine who will make your health care decisions.

A living will can make a difference because:

  • It helps you make your own choices for life support,
    • You will provide the instructions you want.
  • Helps prevent confusion,
    • Your wishes are in writing. No one can legally override the decisions you made.
  • Includes a healthcare power of attorney
    • You can appoint someone to make health-related decisions for you.

If you’re helping someone with their estate planning (or doing your own), don’t overlook a living will. It can give invaluable guidance to family members and healthcare professionals if a person can’t express his or her wishes. Without a document expressing those wishes, family members and doctors are left to guess what a seriously ill person would prefer in terms of treatment. They may end up in painful disputes, which occasionally make it all the way to a courtroom.

Contact Our Office If You Have Any Questions About A Living Will. Landon A. Dunn, Attorney At Law, Can Help You! 

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