Skip to main content

Raleigh Estate Planning Lawyer

Estate planning is an important step in planning for your family’s future. A Raleigh wills and estates attorney from Smith Debnam helps clients put together a well-drafted estate plan, so they can be assured that their estate passes to whom them want, when they want, and how they want.

Smith Debnam's estate planning attorneys combine more than 35 years of experience representing individuals, families, business owners, trusts and fiduciaries in:

  • Estate planning and preservation
  • Tax planning
  • Wealth transfer
  • Estate administration matters
  • Powers of attorney, living wills, and healthcare directives

The Raleigh estate planning attorneys at Smith Debnam can help ensure your wishes will be carried out in the most effective and efficient manner to minimize stress and maintain stability for your family. Our team can also tailor plans to accommodate special circumstances such as:

  • Drafting last wills and testaments and trusts for minor children
  • Preparing living wills, health care powers of attorney and other advance directives
  • Planning for asset management and preservation through the use of powers of attorney or a living trust
  • Establishing life insurance trusts to protect assets and minimize tax burdens
  • Drafting credit shelter, generation-skipping and special needs trusts
  • Developing lifetime gifting and marital or charitable deduction trusts to minimize or defer estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes
  • Maximizing estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions
  • Planning for the disclaimer of estate and trust assets
  • Implementing tax saving gifting plans
  • Creating family limited partnerships and limited liability companies
  • Formulating business continuation plans that preserve family ownership and control of family businesses, or the planned disposition of such businesses to continuing shareholders
  • Structuring favorable retirement plan and IRA distributions

Our Raleigh estate planning attorneys have a proven track record of drafting power of attorney documents, living wills, and other health care directives making it possible for clients to maintain control over their health care and financial affairs for as long as possible by planning in advance of disability. By preparing these documents, clients are able to let their desires be known and to name an agent to act on their behalf and carry out their desires if they are unable to do so themselves. These planning procedures can spare loved ones much hardship and stress during an already difficult time.

Administration & Wills

An estate plan is only effective if it is properly administered. Smith Debnam assists individual and corporate fiduciaries of estates and trusts in matters of probate, estate, and trust administration. If your loved one had a will, the family will go through a process called probate. If your loved one had a trust, the family will go through a process called trust administration. Our attorneys guide executors, administrators, guardians, trustees and beneficiaries throughout the entire estate administration and settlement process, by:

  • Initiating probate proceedings with the proper authority
  • Collecting the needed information to prepare income and estate tax returns
  • Advising on the accounting and tax treatment, and valuing the estate assets
  • Choosing the most beneficial tax elections, deductions and estate payment vehicles
  • Ensuring payment of claims, expenses and taxes
  • Proper disposition and distribution of the estate assets

If your family has experienced the loss of a family member, a Raleigh wills and estate attorney from Smith Debnam can assist with legal matters to save you time and prevent losses or missteps from being made in order to preserve the wishes of the deceased and to spare loved ones additional stress during an already difficult period.

Smith Debnam Narron Drake Saintsing & Myers, LLP attorneys practicing in the area of Estate Planning Law: