Estate Planning

  • Do you have a will?

  • Do you need one?

  • Is a will enough?

  • Do you have joint accounts?

  • Did you know joint accounts are not controlled by a will?

  • Are you relying on joint accounts in place of a will?

  • Are you aware of the risks involved with joint accounts?

  • If you are in a second marriage with a blended family, do you know how your assets will be distributed at your death without a will?

  • Did you know that the standard “simple will” may not be enough to protect and provide for your children from a prior marriage?

  • What happens if you become incapacitated?

  • Who will manage your financial affairs?

  • Who will make health care decisions for you?

  • Are any of your children or other heirs receiving government benefits such as Medicaid or Social Security Disability Income?

  • Did you know that how you leave your property to these beneficiaries could disqualify them to receive government benefits?

  • Do you have a large portion of your assets in IRAs, 401(k)s or other qualified retirement plans?

  • Do you know how federal tax law will affect the way in which your family receives these funds and how much tax they will pay?

  • Do you have a business?

  • Have you considered who you are going to pass that business to and how you are going to do it?

  • What do you do if none of your children wants the business or is capable of running it?

  • Does one of your children have marital difficulties, creditor problems or just difficulty managing money?

  • Do you worry about your hard earned money being squandered or going to someone other than your children?

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About

Stephen P. Stewart, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation) is Of Counsel with the Raleigh law firm of Harris & Hilton, P.A. Stephen has practiced law in the state of North Carolina for over 25 years concentrating in the areas of business, estate and tax law.

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For over 25 years, Stephen Stewart has helped individuals answer these and many other questions about the preservation and distribution of their hard-earned assets to their families. He can help you too by providing sound advice and creative planning solutions in the areas of:

Wills
Revocable Living Trusts
Irrevocable Trusts
General (financial) Powers of Attorney
Health Care Powers of Attorney
Living Wills
Family Limited Partnerships
Family Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
Retirement Plan Distributions
Business Succession Planning
Asset Protection Planning
Special Needs Planning
Incapacity Planning and Guardianships