Services We Can Provide To Protect Your Legacy
Estate Planning Services
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament is probably the most common tool used to manage who receives your property after you pass. To ensure your will is carried out and not invalidated after your death, you should seek the assistance of a competent attorney. Additionally, while it is an important part of estate planning for virtually everyone, it is often wise to combine a will with other tools like a trust.
Trusts come in a number of forms and can be used to expand your options for estate planning. We can establish both revocable and irrevocable trusts and help you decide which type of trust is best suited for your current and future needs. A so-called "Special Needs Trust" can also be established to aid with the care of a person possessing special needs. We likewise help with the creation of pet trusts to ensure your beloved pets are cared for after you are gone and can establish a gun trust to assist you in complying with complex firearms laws.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney (or simply "power of attorney") allows you to designate one or more individuals you trust to make important decisions on your behalf and manage your affairs. This is a particularly useful document for you to have in the event you ever become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions for yourself.
Health Care Power of Attorney
A health care power of attorney is, in effect, the medical version of a power of attorney. It allows you to specify who can make health care decisions for you if you are ever unable to make them yourself. An extremely important document, it sets out what types of powers your agent would possess.
A living will (also called an "advance directive") is a document in which you describe what type of medical care you would like to receive should you become incapacitated or unable to make your own decisions. It is possible to have both a health care power of attorney and a living will. While a health care power of attorney designates a particular person to make decisions, a living will is a document in which you specify how you would like certain decisions to be made.
Wealth Transfer and Tax Planning
Without careful planning, important assets that you possess could become subject to unnecessary taxes at your death or be depleted through other means. Our firm, though, has the knowledge to help you protect your assets and maximize your ability to pass these on as you choose.
Business Succession Planning
If you are a business owner, you worked hard to build that business. But taxes and other legal requirements stand to undermine everything you have built. Our firm can help you develop and implement a strategy to navigate arcane laws and ensure that your business continues on after your passing.
Charitable Gift Planning
Many individuals wish to support charities as part of directing the disposition of their money and other property. We can provide you sound advice as to how best to make these gifts under our tax laws.
Elder Law Services
Medicaid and Long Term Care Planning
Vast numbers of Americans will require Medicaid to pay for nursing home care as they age. Applying for Medicaid can be an onerous process necessitating the assistance of a skilled attorney before an application is ever made. Our firm can assist you with planning to apply for Medicaid as well as handling appeals of rejected applications and making re-applications. Similarly, we can assist you with making other legal decisions to help finance your long term care.
When an individual is no longer able to make his or her own decisions, it may be necessary to seek the appointment of a guardian. This is a legal proceeding, and appointment of a guardian requires the approval of a court. There are different types of guardians under North Carolina law, and the court may set limits on the powers of a guardian.
Probate & Estate Administration Services
Administration of Estates
When a person dies, there then must be a process known as probate. Because probate is a lengthy and often confusing process that must be started when family and friends are typically still grieving the loss of a loved one, the assistance of a competent attorney can often prove invaluable. In addition to assisting with the probate process, we can also help trustees or other fiduciaries comply with their legal responsibilities and duties.
Will and Trust Disputes
Unfortunately, disputes can arise when a will is probated as well as during the administration of an estate or trust. As an experienced litigator, Tyler can assist you with the full range of such disputes, including challenges to the validity of a will (known as "caveat proceedings"), disputes involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duties by executors, trustees, or agents under a power of attorney, and even allegations of elder abuse.
Age and Disability Litigation
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) Cases
Federal law protects individuals over the age of 40 from acts of discrimination in employment as well as retaliation for engaging in protected conduct, such as complaining about possible discrimination. These claims must first be made with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and then may be filed in court. If you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of age or retaliated against, we may assist you in filing a charge with the EEOC as well as litigating the case if necessary.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Cases
Similar to the ADEA, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides protections to employees with actual or perceived disabilities and likewise protects employees who have engaged in certain types of conduct like requesting an accommodation or reporting suspected discrimination. These cases must also be filed with the EEOC before they may be litigated in court. Tyler has extensive experience with ADA claims and may assist you both at the EEOC level and in representing you in litigation.
Age and Disability Litigation under State Law
North Carolina law also protects many employees from being discriminated on the basis of age or disability. Claims under these laws may be made in conjunction with federal law claims or independently. Importantly, state law may provide relief in cases where federal law does not (for example, where the time for filing with the EEOC has expired).
Other Related Services
Additionally, our firm can assist with these other issues that may arise in the context of representing individuals in estate planning, elder law, and probate matters:
Corporate Governance Issues (Including Issues in the Management of LLCs and Partnerships)
ERISA and Other Employee Benefits Issues
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Rights
Formation of LLCs and Other Business Entities
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Rights
Occupational and Business Licensing Issues
Real Property Controversies
Religious Liberty Issues
Special Needs Planning (Including Special Needs Trusts)
Various Forms of Contracts (Including Caregiver Agreements)