Before I began to practice in Elder Law, I always assumed that if you went through the probate process then that meant you were doing something right. Probate is the legal process that a court uses to authenticate a will, or in situations where someone passes without a will it is how a court administers someone’s assets according to the law.
In those situations where someone was probating a will, I would think that was a person who was really on the ball. Hey, you planned ahead and had a will to probate so you took care of business and did what was best for everyone involved. But here I am, screaming from the mountain top (specifically from our new office in Hendersonville, come and see me) that you want to avoid probate whenever possible!
Here is why: North Carolina is a limited recovery state. This is a big deal and an important legal right that you have in our state. What that means is that creditors, whether that be credit card companies or those trying to collect medical bills, are limited to going after the possessions in your estate as it passes through the probate process. If any of your assets in your estate can be passed to someone else without going through the probate process, then creditors don’t get the chance to take them. So, if creditors never get a chance to collect on debts because your possessions are passed on without going through probate, then that means more of your estate will get into the hands of your loved ones.
Preserving your estate may seem easier said than done, but that is where the planning comes into play. This is why our firm has made it our mission to provide excellent estate planning services. You bring the estate, that you have worked very hard for your entire life to achieve, and we work with you on a plan to preserve those assets and ensure that you are able to leave behind the legacy that you want. Every plan is different because every estate is different. However, the goal of preserving your legacy remains the same. Our goal is to help you. Sometimes probate is unavoidable and we have to be prepared for what that means. But, one of our strongest tools we have is to help you locate the potential to avoid the probate process.
I found that this opportunity to work with clients to achieve these goals brings with it a very personal reward. I like to see you win! So it would be a personal favor to me to meet with you and see what plan fits your estate. Since you have made it this far, I look forward to meeting you and working with you on a plan to achieve your goals.
Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney
136 S. King St. Hendersonville, NC 28792