Estate Planning

Last Will and Testaments

How we handle Estate Planning

Stubbs & Perdue assists families and individuals with financial and estate planning in anticipation of death and end of life planning, including health care powers of attorney and general powers of attorney. Following the death of a loved one, our firm can also guide you through the probate process, and assist families in resolving their loved ones estates. 

Our firm can also assist you with creating trusts for the benefit of a spouse or child, and other financing planning designed to protect the wealth you have created during your lifetime.

Creating a will in North Carolina is a vital aspect of estate planning, ensuring that your wishes regarding asset distribution are honored. At Stubbs & Perdue, we specialize in crafting personalized wills and estate plans to safeguard your interests and those of your loved ones.

At Stubbs & Perdue, we’re committed to guiding you through the estate planning process with expertise and empathy. We’ll help you create a will that reflects your wishes, offering security and clarity for the future. Trust us to handle your estate planning needs with the utmost care and professionalism

Here are key reasons why having a will in North Carolina is essential:

  • Control Over Asset Distribution:

    • A will allows you to decide how your assets are distributed.
    • Without a will, state laws dictate the division, possibly against your wishes.
  • Protection for Minor Children:

    • Appoint guardians for your children in your will.
    • Without a will, courts make this critical decision.
  • Minimizing Family Disputes:

    • A clear will can reduce potential conflicts among family members.
  • Estate Tax Planning:

    • A well-prepared will can help minimize estate taxes.
  • Peace of Mind:

    • Ensures your affairs are in order for your peace of mind.

Why choose Stubbs & Perdue for Estate Planning 

  • Our team has extensive knowledge of North Carolina estate law.
  • We provide tailored estate planning, including drafting legally sound wills.
  • Our approach is personalized, considering your family dynamics and financial goals.
  • We ensure your will is clear, legally compliant, and effectively executed.

Personalize Estate Planning

We understand that family structures and property ownership change over time.  We commonly work with clients who need to update current estate planning documents including helping clients who recently moved to North Carolina from another state.

At Stubbs & Perdue, we’re committed to providing personalized advice.

Our attorneys will guide you through the estate planning process with professionalism, attention to detail, and the utmost care.

what estate planning documents are recommended ?

At Stubbs & Perdue, we recommend that clients maintain multiple documents to properly carry out their estate planning goals.

Each document serves a specific purpose and may apply at a different stage.

Documents such as a Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney provide authority to a third party to presently act on your behalf if you are unable to do so.  

Other documents such as an Advance Directive are designed to provide your family with your instructions in the event of a terminal illness.

Last Will and Testament becomes effective when you pass away and is designed to instruct your family about the distribution of your assets.

The following is designed to provide you with general information regarding documents we commonly recommend to our clients.

What Is A Last Will & Testament?

A Last Will & Testament is a legal document which provides your specific instructions regarding the distribution of your assets and property after you pass away.

At Stubbs & Perdue, we believe it is imperative that you work with an experienced attorney who will help you evaluate how property is designated or titled while completing your Last Will & Testament.

North Carolina allows for many items to be designated to pass outside of your estate.  Bank accounts, investment accounts, and retirement accounts may be designated to pass payable upon death to a named beneficiary.  

North Carolina follows the minority rule amongst states and allows married couples to designate ownership of a house or other real estate as tenancy by the entirety.  This ensures that the real estate becomes solely ownership by the surviving spouse. 

North Carolina also allows for real property and certain items of personal property such as vehicles to be titled as joint tenant with right of survivorship. Property in your Last Will & Testament is generally designated by category.  We recommend you consider naming a primary beneficiary and at least one successor beneficiary. Similarly, we recommend that you name a primary personal representative and/or executor and at least one successor personal representative and/or executor.


Why is a Will Important?

  • Asset distribution: Specify who inherits property money, and possessions. 
  • Guardianship of Minors: Names guardianship to minors (if applicable).
  • Conflict Reduction: Helps prevent disputes among your heirs.
  • Reflects Wishes: Ensures your final wishes are known and respected
At Stubbs & Perdue, our goal is to tailor your Last Will & Testament to meet your specific needs.  Our attorneys may recommend special concerns such as the creation of testamentary trust in the event that a potential beneficiary may be a minor
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What Happens If I Don’t Have a Will?

Without a will, the state dictates how your assets are distributed, often leading to outcomes that might not align with your intentions. A will offers you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your estate will be handled as you see fit.

At Stubbs & Perdue our experienced estate planning attorneys understand the nuances of North Carolina law and are dedicated to crafting comprehensive wills that reflect your specific desires. We’re known for our empathetic approach and our commitment to preserving your family’s future. Don’t leave your estate to chance. Secure your legacy and provide your family with the clarity they deserve. Contact us today to create a will that stands as a true testament to your life and wishes.


What Is An Advance Directive?

An Advance Directive is a legal document which provides your specific instructions regarding medical treatment should you face a terminal illness or medical event.

At Stubbs & Perdue, we understand that some clients maintain personal and/or religious reservations about an Advance Directive.  We offer it to our clients as an option as it remains a legal option in North Carolina. 

The Advance Directive requires a series of decisions regarding when it will become effective and the extent to which a medical provider may or shall withhold life-prolonging measures.  The document allows you to designate whether a third party health care agent may override your instructions. 

At Stubbs & Perdue, our attorneys will personally explain each section of the Advance Directive to you in order to ensure that you understand the effect of your choices. 

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants authority to another person, who is known as either your agent or attorney-in-fact, to make important decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to do so yourself. Some common actions your agent would make on your behalf include managing financial matters, health care decisions, or other important matters that may come up during your life. A Power of Attorney is a vital tool for ensuring that your wishes are respected and your affairs are properly managed in situations where you are incapacitated or unavailable.  

A Power of Attorney is durable unless otherwise specified in your documents. This means your Power of Attorney will continue despite incapacity and until your death unless you specify otherwise. 

At Stubbs & Perdue, our team possesses extensive knowledge and experience to ensure that your Power of Attorney is carefully crafted to ensure compliance with statutory standards as well as to meet your specific needs. We understand that every individual’s circumstances are unique, and we take the time to listen to your concerns and goals. Our team will work closely with you to understand your wishes, assess your situation, and tailor your Power of Attorney to reflect your specific preferences and requirements.


What are Health Care Proxies?

A Health Care Proxy is a document where the testator names someone they trust as their agent, or proxy, to express the testator’s wishes and make health care decisions if the testator is unable to speak for themselves. This instrument gives you the flexibility to appoint who you want to make health care decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated.

The agent you appoint will have as many or as few powers as you wish, and it is important to consult an attorney when drafting one to ensure that all potential decisions are accounted for. While your agent will always have broad decision-making authority, a strongly written Health Care Proxy will ensure that your best wishes are carried out as well as preventing abuse of power in the event you are unable to communicate your decisions regarding your own health.

What is a Living Will?

In contrast to a Health Care Proxy, a Living Will – or Advanced Directive – is a document that provides more specific instructions regarding life-sustaining treatment for patients with terminal illnesses. A Living Will does not designate a specific person to carry out your wishes, but rather designates your desired treatment in the event of particular circumstances. Your Living Will sets forth guidelines that health care professionals would be bound to follow in the event of your incapacity.

While both are helpful to you in event of an emergency, a Health Care Proxy is much more flexible in its execution, and will allow for a person you trust to make health-related decisions for you.

Do you have questions relating to Health Care Proxies or Living Wills? Our team is dedicated to finding the right plan for you in the event of incapacity. Schedule a consultation with our office today!

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