At Bailey and Thomas, P.A., our goal with every client is to provide a comprehensive and customized estate plan to best meet their individual needs, and in doing so, provide our clients with peace of mind that they have adequately prepared themselves and their loved ones for the future.
Which estate planning documents do I need to create?
The three primary estate planning documents that we recommend all clients create are a Health Care Power of Attorney & Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and a Last Will and Testament.
A Health Care Power of Attorney is a document that authorizes a designated person to access your medical records and make treatment decisions in the event that you become incapacitated. It also includes a declaration of desire not to be “kept on life support” under certain circumstances.
A Durable Power of Attorney allows a designated person to conduct financial transactions on your behalf. This document is often referred to as the “Financial Power of Attorney,” and without the authority provided by this document, the only lawful means to financially act on behalf of an incapacitated person is through a potentially expensive and cumbersome guardianship established by the Court.
A Last Will and Testament outlines who you want to receive your property after your death. Based on your instructions during our consultation, we will construct a Last Will and Testament that is personalized to your wishes and best meets the needs of your beneficiaries.
Some clients require Trusts to enhance their estate plans. There are various forms of Trusts to meet different needs and objectives of both the client and their loved ones. During our consultation, we will discuss whether a Trust will be beneficial to improve your estate plan.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
If you have previously created estate planning documents and can easily access them, please bring them to your estate planning consultation. It will also help for you to come prepared to your meeting with a basic understanding of what assets you presently own and who you wish to fill the roles of Health Care Power of Attorney, Financial Power of Attorney, and Executor of your Will, as well as at least one person to be named as a substitute for each role.
How much does it cost to prepare an estate planning package?
We prepare estate planning packages that are customized to each client’s needs and objectives. The cost of each package is determined by the complexity of the documents prepared. However, for budgeting purposes, we find that many of our packages fit comfortably in the following ranges:
Individual Estate Plan
Health Care Power of Attorney, Durable Power of Attorney, & Will $750-$1,500
Powers of Attorney Only $250
Trust Based Estate Plan $1,500-2,500
Married Couple Estate Plan
Health Care Powers of Attorney, Durable Powers of Attorney, & Wills $1,000-$1,500
Powers of Attorney Only $500
Trust Based Estate Plan $2,500-3,500
**Please note that the above prices are only estimates. We determine the final cost based on the complexity of each client’s estate planning needs and can provide an accurate cost during your consultation.**
Do you charge for a consultation?
Our consultation fee is $250 for a one-hour appointment. For clients that move forward with hiring our firm’s services to prepare their estate planning package, the consultation fee is included in the final cost and due upon signing your estate planning documents. For clients who choose not to prepare an estate planning package with our firm, the consultation fee will be due at the end of your appointment.
Will you change my beneficiary designations to match my estate plan?
While we are unable to change your beneficiary designations for you, we will discuss our recommendations for how your various accounts should be titled based on your estate planning structure. We will be glad to forward our recommended beneficiary designation language and copies of your estate plans to your trusted financial adviser, financial institution, or other authorized party, at your instruction.
Will my estate planning documents remain valid if I move out of state?
Yes, as long as you are a resident of North Carolina at the time you create your estate planning documents, they are and will remain valid, even if you move out of state. Please note, though, that your estate administration will be handled in the state in which you are a resident at the time of your death. Therefore, for ease of administration, you may want to discuss the provisions of your estate plan with an attorney in the new state of your residence, should you move out of North Carolina.
Does North Carolina have an estate tax?
At this time, North Carolina does not collect an inheritance tax or estate tax.
Do I need to prepare for a federal estate tax?
As of January 2022, your estate will not be subject to a federal estate tax if the value of your estate is less than $12.06 million for an individual or $24.12 million. If your estate is valued above these amounts, we will discuss how to best protect your assets during your consultation.