According to a recent report, North Carolina’s two highest populated counties, Mecklenburg and Wake, have the most reports of snake bites in the state. Two of the culprits are increased building development and mild winter temperatures. The Carolinas Poison Center indicated that Wake County had the most reported cases of venomous snake bites with 82 and Mecklenburg County was the next highest with a reported 60 venomous bites. The dangers posed by these high numbers remind us to be sure to have an estate plan in place.
Snake bites in North Carolina are on the rise all over
Orange County, Guilford County, and Forsyth County are also in the top five counties with high numbers of venomous snake bite reports. According to experts, the number of North Carolinians suffering snake bites in April was four times higher than last year during the same time period. Mild weather is one of the suspected culprits. In Charlotte, four people reported bites from copperhead snakes last month, including a child pushing her bicycle down the street. Locations most at risk include those communities with greenway systems that give snakes resources they need to thrive, such as water and rodents.
Do you have your estate plan in place?
An estate plan can be very helpful in protecting your property and ensuring that it will be properly distributed to your family and friends upon your death. Without appropriate estate planning, your loved ones may be left with unnecessary tax consequences or other issues. One of the consequences of not having an estate plan is that the decision about who will receive your property is left to state law. Wouldn’t you rather make those decisions yourself?
What is an estate plan?
An estate plan is how you prepare yourself and your family for what happens upon your death. Estate planning provides a way for you to plan ahead in case you unexpectedly become incapacitated. Planning for the future is important for everyone, regardless of how small your estate may be.
What can an estate plan do for you?
Creating an estate plan allows you to specify who you want to inherit your property when you die. It can also help you to reduce the taxes that may be imposed on your estate. In the event you become either temporarily or permanently incapacitated, your estate plan should provide the protection you and your family will need when you are incapable of making decisions on your own.
You don’t have to be rich to create an estate plan
Despite popular perception, you don’t have to be very wealthy to need an estate plan. No matter how much money you have, an estate plan is a wise thing to have. Essentially, estate planning protects everyone who has anything they want to leave behind for their loved ones. Even the smallest estate needs an estate plan in order to protect the assets as well as the beneficiaries who will receive them. One of the most important reasons to plan ahead is that most middle-class families need to know what to do if the family’s breadwinner(s) are no longer around to provide support.
Estate planning provides protections for minor children
While no parent wants to consider the possibility of dying while their children are still minors, it can happen. That’s why you need to prepare now. A will is an important part of an estate plan that can help you make plans for protecting your minor children.
All parents want to have the opportunity to make all of the decisions regarding their child’s care. In order to ensure that your child will be properly cared for, in the way you see fit, you need to choose a guardian for them, in case both parents die before the child reaches the age of majority. If not, the court will make this decision for you.
Estate planning can prevent family squabbles over inheritance
Determining how to distribute your estate fairly among your loved ones can be challenging. Unless you provide very specific instructions in your estate plan, your executor will be left to decide how particular assets should be divided. Avoiding family disputes over money and heirlooms can be accomplished through family estate planning — you don’t want your family fighting over your personal possessions after your death. An estate plan can help you avoid most of the challenges that come with distributing an estate.
Join us for a FREE seminar today! If you have questions regarding living trusts or any other estate planning matters, please contact the experienced attorneys at The Potter Law Firm for a consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us at (704) 944-3245 (Charlotte, NC, or Huntersville, NC) or for individuals in Kentucky at (606) 324-5516 (Ashland, KY) or at (859) 372-6655 (Florence, KY).