Last Will and Testament Law

“It only takes a small taste of reality for your glass to go from half full to half empty.” -Shaun A. Ingersoll

Don’t trust your children’s future to internet discount forms.

We specialize in Wills and Trusts. We do so many and at such a high level the North Carolina State Bar has certified Shaun as a “Specialist” in this area. Here is a list of many of the Estate Planning tools we use.

Last Will & Testament.

The Last Will and Testament initiates the direction for concluding your estate upon death. The Will appoints the fiduciaries of your estate including the Executor who settles your affairs and the Guardian who accepts responsibility for your minor children. The dispositive provisions direct your assets to your heirs as you direct. The Will may establish a Children’s Trust in the event of the death of both parents. A Will allows you, and not the State Government, to make all final decisions. 

Children’s Trust/Guardian.

The single most important decision you make regarding your estate is the appointment of a Guardian and the creation of a Children’s Trust for young children. We will show you how to prevent a teenager from wasting away your life insurance or retirement assets before they complete their college education. We can help you address complicated guardianship issues to assure the state of North Carolina does not “place” your children in their system.

Revocable Living Trust.

A Revocable Living Trust provides a vehicle for protecting your estate by avoiding the “probate” of your assets. It may also be used to assure the most tax advantaged transition to your children. Often a Revocable Living Trust reads like a Will and includes a Children’s Trust. These Trusts are easily amended and provide privacy and long term control.

Special Needs Trust.

Some of our most appreciative clients are those with Special Needs Children. Let us help create a Special Needs Trust that reflects your family’s unique goals. Long-term planning with an experienced attorney is key when exploring your options and creating a tailored planning tool.

Gift Planning.

Regardless of whether you’re making cash gifts to grandchildren to “pass your estate early,” or exploring tax advantaged planning tools to reduce the government’s bite out of your hard earned assets, we can provide the guidance and expertise you need. Shaun’s dual licensing as a CPA and as an attorney allows him to provide unique planning opportunities. No need to pay for an entire “team” of advisors. Let us review your circumstances and direct you to appropriate tax savings and estate preservation tools. You may have exciting planning options you were not even aware of.

Blended Families.

One of the quickest ways to waste away an estate is for extended family to challenge a poorly written Will. A dispute between the surviving spouse and children or extended family from previous marriages only benefits the attorneys representing each side. Appropriate planning in these circumstances can eliminate post-death questions and assure accurate allocation of your estate, insurance and retirement assets. Blended families may provide the purest example of the old “pay me now or pay me later” adage.

Family Limited Partnership/Limited Liability Company.

We use Family Limited Partnerships or Limited Liability Companies as tax planning or asset protection tools. The parents are named as the General Partners which assures that you retain control over the assets as long as you live. Overall, these mechanisms allow a sophisticated gifting program without sacrificing the control of individual assets. The determination of whether to use a Limited Partnership or a Limited Liability Company depends on the assets and make up of each individual family.

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust.

An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust may be used to reduce your overall taxable estate by making a lifetime gift of your life insurance. At death, the Trust distributes the insurance proceeds to the family members in a manner similar to the dispository provisions of your Will or Revocable Trust. An Insurance Trust will hold only life insurance and no other assets. This is one of our more economical and effective tax planning tools.