Answers To Common Estate Law Questions

If you have questions about estate planning, estate administration or guardianships, you're not alone. The good news is that you can turn to Quay & Associates, P.A., for the clear answers and personalized legal assistance you need. We invite you to call our New Bern office at 252-649-0530 for a consultation with one of our lawyers. You can also read some frequently asked questions and answers below.

Is A Will Package The Way To Go, Or Do I Need A Trust?

People often choose trusts when they want to keep their asset information private. A trust is not a public record — unlike a will. Other people choose trusts in order to avoid the fees associated with probate.

On the other hand, a trust costs more upfront and must be maintained. We can discuss the details of your unique situation with you and help you determine the best type of estate plan for you.

What Documents Do You Include In A Will Package?

We include five key documents in our will package: a last will and testament, a financial power of attorney, a health care power of attorney, a living will and a HIPAA form.

Is A Revocable Or Irrevocable Trust A Better Choice?

It depends on your needs and goals. If you want to protect your family's assets from Medicaid in the event that you enter a nursing home, an irrevocable trust is likely the best choice. However, if you simply want to reduce probate and estate administration costs and gain more privacy, we may recommend a revocable trust with a pour-over will.

Why Are Powers Of Attorney So Important?

Many people come to our firm when they realize their loved one doesn't have a power of attorney, and they are therefore unable to handle medical or financial matters on their loved one's behalf. If there is no power of attorney in place, your only option is to file a legal petition to have your loved one declared incompetent and to become their legal guardian. It's much easier for everyone involved to proactively create powers of attorney documents.

Do I Need A Custody Order Or A Guardianship?

If both of a child's parents pass away, you may assume that you need a child custody order to legally care for him or her. However, in cases where both parents are deceased, you actually need to request a guardianship. We can assist you with this.

Our attorneys also help parents who have children with disabilities. If such a child is about to become a legal adult, you will likely want to be named his or her guardian so that you can continue to oversee your child's health care and finances.

Why Should I Hire A Lawyer?

You may be tempted to download estate planning forms off the internet and try to do it yourself, but we counsel against that. You don't want a generic form. First, it's probably not state specific, so it may not stand up under North Carolina law. Second, your particular needs and goals may call for a tailored estate planning strategy, which you won't get unless you talk with an actual lawyer.

For specific legal guidance about your particular situation, contact our North Carolina office today and arrange a consultation. We gladly accept Mastercard, Discover and Visa.