Planning an estate is a difficult process for a variety of reasons. Large groups of assets acquired over an entire lifetime must be assigned to people or organizations, and the emotional issues surrounding end-of-life planning can be unexpectedly hard. Fortunately, many options exist to give estate planners peace of mind.

One way to protect large assets safely for the future is to create a living trust. North Carolina law makes it possible to assign a trustee to take care of assets in the case of the owner’s death or infirmity. This continuity makes it easier to keep assets intact and keep benefits flowing to relatives, friends, children and other benefactors.

Single people may create a single trust, encompassing his or her own possessions, while married people have this option as well as a joint trust that combines a married couple’s assets. A clear inventory of all possessions that would be covered by a trust is also vital to its execution.

People can name themselves as the trustee, although this must be accompanied by another trustee who would take over after death or the loss of specific abilities. Once the trust document has been written and executed, all that remains is to transfer assets and valuables into the trust.

An attorney may be the best ally in the efforts to plan an estate with or without a living trust. Legal representation may help navigate the complexities of best preserving assets for future generations or putting them to work for a favorite cause. Consider a lawyer to help with wills, living trusts and other instruments to make the future brighter for benefactors.