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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 116252
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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I have a vehicle, a checking and savings account, an

Customer Question

I have a vehicle, a checking and savings account, an Individual Retirement Account and my personal property (mostly just clothing and some knick knacks). I would like to leave everything to my adult step-children and nothing to my blood relatives. I am also a senior with limited financial resources. What type of estate planning would you suggest? I don't think that I need a trust. Do I need a will or is there a way to circumvent having a will by how I title my assets now and/or making my financial accounts pay-on-death to my step-children? What about title to my car? I don't want to have to go through probate just to transfer title to my car.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

All you need is a will. North Carolina has no laws that entitle your relatives to receive your estate, and you are free to disinherit whomever you wish, other than your spouse if one exists. A will is cheaper, simpler, and easier, and there is no need to title your assets over now. I would just suggest you leave a copy of your will with someone you trust, just in case your family attempts to contest. The only way to circumvent the will is via trust or current transfer but both of those may trigger tax events today. A will is simpler and cheaper unless you have a lot of assets. As far as avoiding probate, if the estate is under $20,000, the executor could file for a small estate affidavit instead:


Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I believe that I could have gotten better advice. Putting the beneficiaries as Pay on Death would allow the bank accounts to go directly to them. Adding the beneficiaries to the current title on the car would allow the car to become theirs once I have died. The only question is the IRA and it would have been better to suggest that I speak with the company administering the IRA to see if the beneficiaries could have been listed as pay on death with 50% ownership to each beneficiary. Since I am not satisfied with the answer that I received I am requesting that I pay only the $5 for the appointment and either not be charged the additional $41 or have that money refunded to my credit card.
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 1 year ago.


This is not a site for 'legal advice', merely legal information. You asked purely for either a question as far as a trust or a will, and that is what I focused on. You are free to not be satisfied and I have asked the moderators to assist you. Please take care.


Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would like to retract my negative rating and comments.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
You may retract your negative review by clicking on positive feedback stars at the top of your page and changing them to 3 or more stars. Thank you.