Our Charlotte Estate Planning Services

Estate planning is one of the most important things we can do during our lifetimes. While drafting a will is an important estate planning step, thorough estate planning may require much more. The goal of estate planning is to ensure that your assets are protected and that your assets are transferred as smoothly as possible to your beneficiaries upon your death. Estate planning also involves allowing your family members to manage your assets and protect your health and financial security should you become incapacitated. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our Charlotte, Mooresville, and Monroe law firm offers our clients a wide range of estate planning services.

Estate Planning

Basic estate planning includes creating a will-based estate plan or a trust-based estate plan. A will is a legal document that states how you would like your assets to be distributed upon your death. A trust-based estate plan allows you to transfer your assets into a trust, protecting your assets from creditors and bypassing the probate process. There are many different types of trusts, and we can help you figure out whether you need to one and which type of trust will most effectively achieve your goals.

Elder Law

The goal of elder law is to help people prepare for their retirement both financially and medically. The cost of a nursing home in North Carolina can exceed $6,000 a month. Many families are unable to make these payments, even those who have worked hard to prepare for retirement. Elder lawyers can help you protect your assets, enjoy your retirement, and qualify for public insurance that covers long-term care, if necessary.

Special Needs Planning

Many of our clients who are parents of children with special needs are understandably concerned about caring for their children after they are gone. There are several steps special needs parents can take to provide for their loved ones. Many of our clients establish a Special Needs Trust that their adult child can use to pay for expenses not covered by their public benefits. Your adult child will still be able to qualify for public health insurance and other public benefits when you create a properly structured Special Needs Trust.

Probate and Trust Administration

The probate process can be extremely overwhelming, especially after learning that your loved one has passed away. If you have been appointed as a trustee or a personal representative, you owe the beneficiaries certain legal duties. If you do not administer the estate or trust correctly, you can face serious penalties. We help clients with probate and trust administration matters so they can rest easy while fulfilling their duties.

Advice for Non-Profits

Similarly, those who run nonprofit organizations must meet the requirements set forth by North Carolina law or they risk their organization losing its non-profit status. We can help you create a non-profit as part of your estate plan or manage a non-profit effectively.

Charitable Trusts

Some of our clients decide to create charitable trusts with their assets as part of their estate plan. When you create a charitable trust, you can set forth the guidelines for how your assets will be distributed. For example, if you deeply care about animals, you could create a charitable trust that donates to worthy animal rescue organizations.

Asset Protection

Another important goal of estate planning is to protect your assets from creditors and taxes. After working your entire life, you do not want to see the majority of your assets go back to the state, or to creditors. We use estate planning techniques to ensure that you and your loved ones will keep as much of your estate as possible after you pass away.

Business Succession Planning

Many family-owned businesses in the United States do not have a business succession plan in place. If you own a small business or a family business, it is important to create a business succession plan should you become incapacitated or pass away. Doing so will allow your family members or employees to smoothly transition after you're gone and protect your business assets.

Contact Our Experienced Estate Planning Lawyers Today

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we offer a wide variety of estate planning services for our clients. No matter your goals or needs, we are here to help you protect your assets and develop an estate plan that achieves your vision. Contact our Charlotte, Mooresville, or Monroe estate planning lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help you.