Creating And Updating Wills And Trusts

One of the most important components of any estate plan is the last will and testament. This document spells out your wishes about how you want your assets distributed after your death, designates an executor and can list funeral wishes. If you have minor children, it can also designate a guardian.

At Ellis Family Law, P.L.L.C., serving Durham, Chatham, Orange, Wake, Granville, Alamance and Person counties, our firm's lawyers can help you create and draft a will, as well as help you update an existing will. As experienced estate planning attorneys, they can also help you establish a trust or implement other estate planning tools if that is the best way to protect your assets for your beneficiaries.

We provide a range of wills including simple wills that allow you to designate an executor and distribute your assets while also allowing you to name a guardian for any minor children, and allow for a trust to be set up in the event that a minor child may inherit assets that they are not legally entitled to hold, thereby avoiding costly guardianship scenarios. We also provide pour-over wills that accompany our revocable trusts to ensure that all of our client's assets are captured in the estate plan that we set up.

Why You Need A Will

When you create a will, you are retaining control of your estate. When someone dies without a will, the estate is distributed according to state law. That means a relative who you may not want to be a beneficiary could receive everything.

Additionally, a will can make the probate process proceed much more smoothly for your beneficiaries and surviving family members. Providing clarity about who you want to take care of your children and what you want to happen to assets like your home, business and investments can limit the prospect of litigation during the probate process.

Is A Trust Right For You?

Many families use trusts because trusts allow the estate to remain outside of the probate process in many cases. Others use trusts to place stipulations on giving assets to beneficiaries. For example, you can make an award to a child contingent on him or her finishing college or turning a certain age.

We assist clients in not only setting up trusts, but also in funding trusts to ensure they will function in the way intended. We have experience in more complex trust planning, which allows us to handle more unique situations such as dealing with qualified assets with special conduit provisions within your trust. We are especially grateful to be able to help our clients who require special needs planning with irrevocable supplemental trusts, also known as special needs trusts, whether being created by a family member or as a result of litigation proceeds.

When Do You Need To Update Your Will?

It is important to remember that you can update your will or trust whenever you want. Most commonly, people update their estate plans if they remarry and want to ensure their children from the first marriage are still protected. Another instance could be if you no longer wish to name someone a beneficiary.

Call Ellis Family Law Today To Learn More

The attorneys of Ellis Family Law, P.L.L.C., can answer your questions and help you craft an estate plan that addresses your specific needs. Schedule a consultation with them by completing our online contact form or calling 919-688-9400.