How to Choose an Estate Planning Attorney in North Carolina 2023?

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Planning for your future involves a multitude of personal, significant details that need to be addressed, which is why you want to make sure you work with an attorney you can trust. However, you need to know what to look for when selecting an attorney.

That’s why we gathered some of our top tips for helping you find lawyers who are right for you. Here are some of the basics on estate planning attorneys in North Carolina and how to choose one who is best for you in 2023.

WHAT DOES AN ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY DO?

An estate planning lawyer is an attorney who specializes in estate planning and administration law. This gives them the ability to help with and handle all matters of an individual’s estate, including:

  • Forming wills
  • Forming trusts
  • Creating full estate plans
  • Creating legally binding documents and agreements
  • Executing estates
  • Holding and protecting estate plans until their administration
  • Helping to reduce taxes when possible
  • Establishing power of attorney
  • Helping individuals form plans that address their unique needs
  • Providing advice on estate matters

HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY IN NC

When choosing an estate planning lawyer, there are a variety of factors you should take into consideration to find the best fit for you. Here are just a few tips on finding a great estate planning attorney in North Carolina:

  1. Identify Your Individual Needs for Your Estate Plan
    The first thing you should do before beginning your search for an estate planning attorney is to identify all of your needs and what you would like to accomplish. This way, you can narrow down your search more when it comes time to find an attorney who can do what you need. For example, if you want to create a trust, you will want to make sure you look for an attorney familiar with creating and administering trusts in North Carolina because not all of them are.
  2. Look for Lawyers Who Specialize in Estate Planning
    Because many lawyers specialize in different areas of the law, it is in your best interest to look for an attorney who specializes in estate planning. By finding a lawyer who specializes in estate planning law, you can trust that they are familiar with all the different aspects of creating a legally valid estate plan and can assist you with the process.
  3. Check Their Reputation and Experience
    It’s never a bad idea to check the reputation of a law firm you are looking into. While online reviews are not always recent or extremely trustworthy, it can be easy to tell when a law firm has a positive impact on their clients. In addition to checking reviews and client satisfaction, it’s also important to review the experience of a lawyer you are considering. Look into the school they went to, if they’re a part of any professional organizations, and how long they’ve been practicing. This helps you to get a better idea of the person you’re going to be working with and if they will be a good fit for your needs.
  4. Interview and Compare Different Prospects
    Never lock yourself to just one law firm or attorney at the beginning of your search. You should always look into and consider multiple firms when searching for an attorney who can help you with estate planning. By comparing and interviewing multiple firms, you can find one that’s able to best fit your individual requirements, instead of just choosing the first one you come across.

FAQS

Q: What Questions Should I Ask When Interviewing an Estate Planning Attorney?

A: Asking an attorney about their services is a great way to see if they may be able to help you. Some important questions individuals like to ask include questions about an attorney’s experience, where they went to school, and how long they have been practicing law.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Settle an Estate With a Will in North Carolina?

A: After an individual passes away, their estate is most likely going to go through probate. Probate is the legal process of validating a will or estate plan and administering the deceased’s estate according to their wishes. Because probate addresses all matters of the estate, including paying off remaining debts, the process can sometimes be lengthy. You can expect probate in North Carolina to take anywhere from a few months to over a year until the estate is completely settled.

Q: Why Is an Estate Plan Important in North Carolina?

Having some sort of estate plan is imperative no matter what state you live in. If an individual passes away without a valid will or estate plan left behind, their final wishes legally cannot be followed. Instead, the probate process is run by the local court that is going to have to adhere to North Carolina’s inheritance laws to distribute the assets that were left behind.

Q: What Documents Are Included in an Estate Plan?

Every estate plan may vary in documents depending on what the creator thinks is best for their situation. In general, the basic documents that are included in a full North Carolina estate plan include a last will and testament, power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, guardianship designations for minors, and any final personal wishes, like funeral requests. The last will and testament is what includes asset distribution plans and beneficiaries.

PINNACLE LAW: YOUR NORTH CAROLINA ESTATE PLANNING EXPERTS

When you are ready to look for an attorney and create an estate plan in North Carolina, our team at Pinnacle Law is prepared to help. We have years of experience working in estate planning and administration law and have helped countless clients form estate plans that make them feel confident about their future. Our team can assess your needs, help you create wills and trusts, and assist you in forming the perfect estate plan.

To learn more about our expert estate planning services or to schedule a consultation with a member of our team at Pinnacle Law, get in touch with us today.