Help from a wills and trust attorney
(The following is a dramatization.)
Mrs. Brown is 75 years old. Her husband died several years ago, and she has recently learned that she has a terminal illness. The time has come for her to make out her will.
Her first thought is to try to write it herself, or download a will form off the Internet. But on doing research, she learns that this would be a mistake — that if a will is not written by experts, some of its provisions may conflict with others, leaving her children with a terrible mess to deal with after she passes on. She also learns that by the laws of North Carolina, she needs to sign her will in the presence of two witnesses, neither of whom are named in the will and both of whom must sign the will while she watches.
Her family situation is complicated. She has three children and eight grandchildren. One of her children has a spouse who is suffering from chronic health issues. Another is married to somebody who has a drug problem and cannot be trusted with money or anything valuable — and they have two children in grade school. Of her eight grandchildren, two have jobs, while two more are in college and struggling with student loans. It takes her some time and a lot of thought to decide who needs her money the most and who is likely to put it to the best use.
So she talks to a wills and trust attorney, who shows her how to set up trusts for those of her grandchildren who may need financial assistance in the future but are not old enough to handle the money themselves right now. He explains to her that the assets she places in a revocable trust will continue to belong to her for as long as she lives, that she can revoke it at any time if necessary, and that she can name the person or institution of her choice as a trustee. If she is incapacitated between now and the time of her death, her trustee will continue to manage the assets in her name. When she dies, the assets are not distributed right away, but are left in trust for a set amount of time. The attorney helps her draw up these trusts, and, while she is at it, make out her will to take care of the rest of her estate.
Wills and trust attorney in Gastonia, NC
Robert C. Whitt is a Gastonia attorney, servicing the areas of Gastonia, Charlotte, Mount Holly and Gaston, Mecklenburg, Lincoln Counties and surrounding communities. He focuses on wills, trusts and other aspects of elder law. Call and make an appointment today.