Estate and Trust Administration/Probate

Estate and Trust Administration/Probate

Probate is the process of “settling” an individual’s affairs after death under the oversight of the local Clerk of Court’s office.

The North Carolina State Bar has certified Shaun as an “Expert” in Probate Law.

We can help settle a family member’s estate big or small, taxes or no taxes, Will or no Will. Your initial conference is FREE.

We can initiate the Will filing and actually “swear in” the estate Executor right in our office for any county in North Carolina (no need to go to the Courthouse).

With or Without a Will
Some estates are simple, and others require dispute resolution. Either way, our team provides cost effective guidance and support to the extent the family needs or desires assistance.

Contested Wills
Do you object to the terms or administration of a relative’s Will? Out of State, handwritten or Internet/Online do-it-yourself products often fail to meet NC Standards or improperly address important circumstances. It may be possible to “challenge” these “cookie cutter” or factory Wills or Trusts to seek a resolution in your favor. We can review your specific circumstances to determine if an alternative exists or if a problematic Will may be set aside. Many times the estate you are challenging must pay your legal fees.

Tax Planning
Many tax elections are made after death. There are always time deadlines and filing requirements established by taxing authorities. With Shaun’s unique background as a CPA, we can provide clear direction for achieving the most tax- favorable planning program before or after death.

Trustee Services
We can serve as your Trustee.

Often, families use Trusts to provide direction and stability for estate assets during periods of declining health or for a period of time after death. You may need a specialized attorney to serve as your family’s Trustee in the following circumstances.

  1. An informed, trusted family member is not locally available;
  2. Your children are minors;
  3. You desire to avoid a cumbersome, expensive banking institution;
  4. Privacy is important to maintain confidentiality or stability, or
  5. Your heirs do not show signs of maturity or prudence.

Our costs are economical and the service is highly skilled and personally tailored to your family. Please note we are careful not to provide any form of investment direction or advice. Specific investment choices are beyond the scope of the services we are permitted to provide, and if an investment decision is necessary, we will retain the services of a professional investment advisor or retain the services of an advisor recommended by you.

As Trustee, we will follow your specific instructions and we are obligated to make sure that the Trust assets are protected and preserved. Our Trustee services not only encompass the legal aspects of following your wishes, but as a CPA, Shaun can also provide annual trust accountings and tax preparation.