Wills

A Will might be appropriate when you do not have minor children or if you don't feel a need to avoid probate. Everyone over the age of 18 should have a Will plan at the very minimum.

  • Will

  • Durable Power of Attorney for financial matters

  • Health Care Power of Attorney and Advance Directive for end-of-life decisions

  • Digital Asset Directive and Release

  • HIPAA Release

  • Counsel regarding asset protection

Living Trusts

Living trusts allow for the 

  • Revocable Trust (with associated asset transfers instructions)

  • Transfer of real estate to trust if needed, with associated Certificate

  • Pour Over Will

  • Durable Power of Attorney

  • Health Care Power of Attorney and Advance Directive

  • Digital Asset Directive and Releases

  • HIPAA Release

  • Counsel regarding asset protection

Trusts for Children

Minor children do not have the legal capacity to inherit. With a personalized trust parents decide when their children receive their inheritance – at specified ages, for specified reasons and with specified limitations.

  • Guardianship designation. – This multi-page documents allows parents to designate interim guardians who can act until the nominated guardians arrive to care for the children. Parents can express their preferences for education, religion, continued relationships with friends and family members, and share their values and vision for their children.

  • Revocable Trust

  • Pour Over Will

  • Durable Power of Attorney

  • Health Care Power of Attorney and Advance Directive

  • Digital Asset Directive and Releases

  • HIPAA Release

  • Counsel Regarding asset protection

Vail is calm, knowledgeable, and caring. She explained everything very clearly so the process made sense. She explained our options and recommended a simple plan over an unnecessary, more complicated route. She took what could be a painful process and made it as pain-free as possible. I would absolutely recommend Vail for estate planning services.
— Janse and Ken H., Durham

North Carolina Default Estate Plan

Inheritance: If you don't leave a Will instructing who will inherit, the state of North Carolina will decide for you. Without a Will, the priority of who receives assets is set by North Carolina law, regardless of your actual wishes.

Guardianship: If you are unable to manage your own financial affairs or advocate for your own healthcare decisions, you might be deemed incompetent and appointed a guardian. This is an expensive court process that exposes your frailties to the public and the court assigns someone to act as your agent to make decisions for you.

Probate: Estates valued over $20,000, where the spouse is not the only heir, may be subject to formal estate administration, often called probate. Your assets, creditors and beneficiaries become public record in court filings. Your assets will be frozen until your personal representative is authorized to make distributions, a process which generally takes at least 90 days. Your estate is subject to court probate fees of up to $6,000, based on the value of the gross estate. Your personal representative also is entitled to compensation up to 5% of your estate.

Minor Children: Parents with their Wills in place have the opportunity to recommend who will act as their children's guardian. If assets are left directly to the children, a guardian of the estate must be appointed by a judge to manage the inheritance on behalf of the children. The judge has the sole authority to decide who will act as this guardian.

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