Practice Areas

Estate Planning

Hull & Chandler, P.A., helps clients protect their assents and plan for the future.

Asset protection strategies and protecting your estate from probate courts upon your death is one of the most important things you can do for your spouse and children. Putting your financial estate in order through solid estate and asset planning is essential for your family and will avoid the necessity of sorting through probate issues upon your death. At Hull & Chandler, P.A., we will thoroughly review your asset protection goals and create an estate plan based on your needs.

Our attorneys have years of experience in broad areas of estate planning, probate and asset management law. We have the tools and resources available to help you with a simple will, or to serve as administrator for a complex estate. Contact Hull & Chandler, P.A., today at 704-375-8488 for answers to any questions you may have about estate planning.


Charitable Trusts and Foundations

A charitable trust is a trust where one or more charities act as the beneficiaries. The assets are held and managed by the charity for a specified period of time, with some or all interest produced returning to the charity. This distribution can be a permanently specified amount each year, or an amount calculated annually based on a percentage of the trust’s value in the given year.

Charitable trusts come in two types:

  • Remainder Trust: Under a remainder trust, the grantor sets aside assets which then pay income to non-charitable beneficiaries every year, usually the grantor or a family member. This can be for any period of time – either a few years, or well after the donor’s death. When the trust expires, the remaining value of the trust passes to the charity as a charitable estate tax deduction, as well as any interest or profits that might have been generated.
  • Lead Trust: Charitable lead trusts function by paying income to a charity on an annual basis. Rather than giving control of a set of properties over to a charity, the donor retains control. The grantor of the trust sets aside assets which then pay income to the charitable beneficiaries every year. Upon the expiration of the trust, rather than the charity gaining control of the donation, it reverts back to a party of the donor’s choosing, usually their heirs or beneficiaries. The grantor is able to receive a charitable income tax deduction every year that the trust is operational.

Charitable trusts are a win-win for both charities and donors. The charities receive the crucial funding they need to continue operating, while the donors can access otherwise unavailable tax breaks.


Estate Administration & Probate

Hull & Chandler, P.A., understands how difficult it is when a loved one passes away. Our goal is not only to provide you with our experience in handling probate and estate administration matters, but also compassion and the relief of knowing your matters are in good hands.

Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a person after death by resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property and assets upon completion. The probate process varies from state to state and can be complicated in North Carolina. As such, it is our goal to simplify the process and ensure that the deceased person’s wishes are carried out properly, guide the administrator or executor properly and ensure all deadlines set by the state throughout the course of the administration of the estate are met.

The ultimate goal of the probate process is to prove the validity of the decedent’s will and pass his/her assets to the heirs of the estate. This includes submitting wills to probate; locating assets; publishing notices to creditors and paying debts; and filing numerous notices, inventories and supporting documents with the Court throughout the process. Failure to file the proper documentation with the Court in a timely manner can be costly and cause significant delays.

The estate administration process can be a lengthy one. From the time the estate is opened, it can take anywhere between four months to a year for the estate to be closed. It is a long process since the estate cannot be closed with the Court until all claims against the estate have been resolved and all pending assets have been re-titled or dissolved. Said process can even take years depending on the number of pending assets and/or claims belonging to the deceased.


Complex Tax Strategies

Any comprehensive estate plan should thoroughly consider estate tax issues. There are various strategies available that can minimize the effect of federal and state taxes your heirs may face after your death. Trusts are one of the most common tools to reduce estate taxes; however, there are a number of other strategies as well, including annual gifting to transfer money to a relative.

No matter how you intend to distribute your property and assets, concrete estate tax planning may be essential to protect your family members and beneficiaries. If you have a high asset estate or a family business, advanced tax planning will be crucial to you and your family’s financial well-being. Whether you are planning for your estate, business or the future of your family, it is important to have an experienced attorney who can help you develop a tax plan that works for you.

Our tax planning and preparation services include:

  • Inheritance tax concerns
  • Gift taxes
  • Saving on income tax
  • Charitable giving strategies
  • Special needs trusts
  • Business organization and corporate tax structures

We are fully committed to understanding the personal and family needs of each client so we can devise strategies for achieving maximum asset protection and accomplishing key goals. We can provide you with the best possible combination of business and personal tax planning and preparation services, which enables us to address a wide range of tax issues effectively and efficiently.


Estate Litigation

Losing a loved one is emotionally difficult. During this time, dealing with the complexities of his/her estate can be an overwhelming experience. The process of probate and estate administration should proceed smoothly and without complications, but only when the intentions of a decedent are clearly stated and legally sound. However, in several circumstances, this process can be delayed and result in conflict and litigation.

The authenticity of a will is one of the most frequently contested matters in estate litigation. If a will cannot be proved genuine and legitimate, questions arise as to the true intent of the decedent. If a will was composed under duress, undue influence, or pressure, the court cannot rely on the document to express the true intentions of the person who has passed on. Since this person can no longer speak for him or herself, the attorneys at Hull & Chandler can work with families in their effort to determine how best to serve the final wishes of the deceased.

Even when there is no question about the authenticity of a will, conflicts may still arise. It is the responsibility of a will’s executor to submit the proper petition orders to the court, pay taxes owed, resolve debts with creditors, and distribute funds to the beneficiaries. When an executor neglects these duties, abuses his or her position, or fails to follow established North Carolina probate code, Hull & Chandler will represent family members and beneficiaries in litigation to remove the executor.

When pursuing a claim, it is crucial to have expert legal guidance that will protect your inheritance and ensure that you receive what is rightfully yours. If you suspect that the transfer of the assets of a decedent has been handled improperly or you are in need of legal assistance in an estate matter, contact us today to set up a consultation.


Health Care Directives

Advance health care directives are legal documents that allow you to make decisions ahead of time regarding your health care in the event that you are unable to due to illness or incapacity. There are two different documents commonly used when discussing advance directives: a living will and a health care power of attorney. Although serious illness or death is not something most of us like to think about, it is important to consider what kind of medical care you would want if you were too ill or hurt to express your wishes. Advance directives allow your requests to be known to your family, friends and health care professionals to avoid future confusion and misunderstanding.

A living will spells out your preferences in terms of the type of care and course of treatment used to sustain your life. For example, the use of breathing machines, feeding tubes, organ and tissue donation, etc. A living will also dictates whether or not you would like all of these measures taken, none of them taken, or only certain ones taken. It can be very specific or general in nature.

A health care power of attorney appoints an individual to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so. Again, this allows you to choose ahead of time the person(s) who will make these important decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so.

First impression is the smile upon meeting. The detail in the execution of documents prepared and the timely manner in which you receive them. I would recommend them to anyone.
Linda

Estate Planning Attorneys

Nathan M. Hull

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