Raleigh Estate Planning Services
Protecting Your Family with a Plan in Wake County
At Oak City Estate Planning, we believe in empowering our clients. Our estate planning services in Raleigh can give you the peace of mind of knowing that your and your loved ones’ futures are protected. We can give you the tools to assess your individual situation and help you build a robust plan that accomplishes all of your estate planning goals.
We can draft, review, update, and formalize numerous estate planning documents, including:
What is an Estate?
Your “estate” encompasses everything that is in your control or possession. This can include:
- Your home
- Real estate
- Bank accounts
- Financial resources
- Family heirlooms
- And more
Steps must be proactively taken to safeguard your estate both while you are alive and once you pass away. Estate planning can sometimes require specific and uniquely tailored considerations for especially vulnerable individuals. We can assist your family with special needs planning, including protecting those currently benefiting from government disability programs. Our team can also provide legal assistance in matters involving elder law, including exploring long-term care options.
What is a Will?
A last will and testament is an essential document that helps individuals settle their estate. The contents of a will dictate what happens to your assets and who will take care of your children once you pass away.
In North Carolina, a will can allow you to:
- Name a guardian for any minor children
- Designate beneficiaries to your property
- Appoint a personal representative to manage your estate, including your final wishes
Creating a will is not as simple as writing your intentions on a piece of paper. In order for a will to be formalized, you will need to sign it in the presence of two reliable witnesses, who will also need to sign the document. Wills do not have to be notarized in North Carolina, but doing so can confer additional protections.
Properly validating a will can avoid disputes of authenticity during the probate process. Any objections over a will’s legitimacy can delay or even prevent the distribution of assets and the honoring of your wishes.
It is critical that you have a valid will in place. Passing away without a will can result in your estate being subject to the state’s intestacy laws, which dictate that your property be split amongst your most immediate surviving relatives. Any specific intentions you may have had for your property will likely not be honored.
Our team can evaluate your goals and ensure that your will properly addresses them. We can also assist in confirming that the will is formalized and sufficiently protected from any potential objections. When updating your estate plan, we can assist in modifications to an existing will or the creation and validation of a new draft.
Lars is great! He walked us through the process and made sure that we understood each step. He helped create new categories in the planning process that will ensure we provide our family a detailed outline of our wishes. Highly recommend him to anyone looking to start or continue their estate planning journey.- W.S
My wife and I found working with Lars Kissling to be a productive and enlightening experience. His knowledge of estate planning is extensive. He patiently answered our questions and showed both concern and compassion about our own situation. We recommend Oak City Estate Planning. It is truly an investment in your family's future. I think Lars' services are needed by all, especially for families with small children or those with special needs. The end result is piece of mind going forward.- B.B
My husband and I were very satisfied with the professional advice from Lars. He recently assisted us in updating our estate plan. He led us through a process that provided clarity on our goals for our plan. We would highly recommend Lars Kissling to others.- B.K.
He was a great help to me and was very patient to explain all my options, many of which I did not know I had. He also helped me find financial planners which I desperately needed.- Mary M.
The process was easy and we now have a robust estate plan that covers any and all eventualities, protecting both ourselves and our beneficiaries. We highly recommend Lars at Oak City Estate Planning, having done so with friends and colleagues.- Phil B.
1IntroductionAfter signing up for a vision meeting, you will watch a video that provides an overview of estate planning.
2VisionDuring this meeting, you will meet with Mr. Kissling and discuss your case and specific planning needs.
3DesignThe second meeting with the attorney involves sitting with Mr. Kissling and actually putting your plan together.
4SigningIn the third and final meeting, you will review the plan, tie up any loose ends, and sign your finalized plan.
What is a Trust?
Trusts can be an extremely useful tool in estate planning when used in conjunction with a will. Like with a will, a trust can allow you to dictate what happens to elements of your estate after you pass away. Unlike a will, trusts are private, and assets placed within them are protected from probate.
Trusts have numerous advantages, including:
- Protection from probate and taxing. Assets can potentially be lost to probate, either as a result of getting entangled in disputes or as a means to repay outstanding debts. Property placed in trusts are almost always protected from probate. Larger estates can also be subject to estate taxes, but assets placed in trusts are excluded from estate valuations.
- Greater flexibility and control. There are numerous types of trusts, and the tool can be tailored to accomplish your targeted objectives. You can choose to “trigger” the transfer of assets when certain conditions are met. For example, you may want to give your minor child a significant inheritance when they come of age. Specifically designed trusts can also facilitate special needs planning and other circumstances requiring careful management of financial assets.
- Privacy. Ugly conflicts in probate are a matter of public record, potentially subjecting your loved ones to unnecessary and unwanted scrutiny. You may also understandably wish to keep the nature of your bequeathals out of the public eye. Trusts are private affairs, and any arrangements made are kept between you, the trustee, and the beneficiary or beneficiaries.
Trusts can work together with a will to form a robust plan that will protect your family. A will can be used to name your personal representative and guardian to your minor children; it can also serve as a catchall to distribute any property not placed in a trust. You can then place as many or as few assets in your trust or trusts to facilitate more direct, reliable, and private inheritances to your loved ones. Our estate planning services in Raleigh include identifying what types of trusts and arrangements make the most sense for your situation.