Peace of Mind

The Practical View of Estate Planning and Probate

When you go through the estate planning process for passing all your worldly assets to your family, friends, or charities, you want that plan to be carried out as quickly and completely as possible.

Unfortunately, there are many unprofessional companies that market estate planning. They are more interested in their accumulation of wealth than in your plans and desires.

Oftentimes so-called estate planners will create marketing pieces that try to convince you that probate is long and costly. They say that avoiding probate will prevent delays of anywhere from nine months to one year or more. By avoiding probate, you can eliminate or minimize substantial court, attorney’s, and executor’s fees.

Another marketing ploy is to bring up that terrible word, taxes. There are no federal or state taxes unless one has an estate over $5,430,000.00. Not many of us have that large of an estate. If you do have a greater amount, we can prepare a plan for you that assumes no federal or state taxes for estates up to $10,860,000.00. Tax does not come into the picture when dealing with the majority of estates.

In North Carolina, probate can realistically be completed in a fairly short period of time, depending on assets and the executor’s time. The minimum time required would be just over three months, the same amount of time required if you just had a trust. Probate or court costs/fees in North Carolina are very inexpensive. Executors can earn a maximum of 5% of the total assets of the estate based on the amount of work involved with the administration. An attorney is often asked to assist with the administration of the estate to lessen the burden of the responsibilities of the executor. I can only speak for this firm and state that we only charge for the amount of work/time we are involved for each estate. And with that said, a Petition and Order is subject to the Clerk of Court’s approval to ensure that the executor’s and attorney’s fees are reasonable.

The beauty of probate in any regard is to cut off creditors after 90 days/3 months. This ensures that the executor may complete the estate therefore fulfilling the legacies of the decedent.

To get started on your estate planning, please stop by our office and pick up our Blue Book Worksheet or complete the online Blue Book Worksheet below.

Upon completion of your Blue Book Worksheet, please bring it to our office including any existing prepared documents. At that time, we will schedule your consultation FREE of charge.

We will guide you through the process in getting your affairs in order which gives you peace of mind.

If you have relocated from another state, you may need a North Carolina attorney to review your existing documents. Each state requires specific language contained within your documents. The process is simple and inexpensive.

Stay in touch with our office for current seminars in regards to estate planning! We normally schedule four during the year. Many times, we post events on our Facebook page and Events page.

Please call to inquire or stop by our office and meet Patricia L. Laubham to discuss any of your Estate Planning and/or Estate Administration needs or e-mail her at

Estate Planning Worksheet

During the initial appointment, we will determine your specific estate planning needs and goals. The potential cost of probate and tax which would occur with your current plan will be analyzed and methods of reducing costs and accomplishing goals will be discussed. An...

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