Lassiter & Sperati, PLLC
Schedule Your Initial Consultation 252-557-4582
Lassiter & Sperati, PLLC
Schedule Your Initial Consultation 252-557-4582

Rocky Mount North Carolina Legal Blog

License suspensions for a DWI are tough

A person in the Rocky Mount area probably knows just from public service announcements that getting accused of drunk driving could mean that a person will spend time in jail. This is so even if it is a first offense and even if there are no aggravating circumstances.

In the midst of worrying about jail time, what may get lost in the shuffle is that North Carolina also has some pretty harsh mandatory license suspensions for those who get convicted of a DWI, which in North Carolina is also referred to as driving while impaired.

More about undue influence

A previous post on this blog mentioned a number of different reasons why a North Carolina will might get challenged in a legal action to have it invalidated and, thus, disregarded for purposes of estate administration.

Undue influence was one of the grounds for challenging a will that this previous post mentioned. More should be said on this subject, however, because undue influence is a common reason heirs and other people challenge wills.

What is a power of attorney?

As previous posts have discussed, a Rocky Mount, North Carolina resident's estate planning should cover two questions.

The first question is what will happen to his or her property after the person dies, and the second question, just as important, is how he or she, as well as his or her property, will be managed in the person's final years when he or she may require assistance handling such affairs.

Representing creditors in foreclosure actions

Large banks who often make house loans to Rocky Mount, North Carolina, families foreclose on their mortgages often enough to have a streamlined process.

However, the big financial institutions are not the only ones who may need to start a foreclosure. Smaller lenders who foreclose less frequently may not have the same processes in place as their larger counterparts, for instance. Sometimes, even an individual or someone else who isn't the business of lending may get a mortgage or lien on a piece of residential real estate.

Life changes may mean it is time to change your will, too

Once you create your will, it is easy to let the document sit in a drawer or safe for years. While it is always better to have a will than not to have one, there are many ways that an outdated will can cause complications after you pass away.

Any time that you experience a significant life change, it may impact your wishes for your estate, so it is wise to look over your will to identify potential complications. If your will does create conflicts after you pass away, this may delay distribution of your estate, and may even drain your resources while your beneficiaries wait. Amending your will at the right time keeps these complications from affecting your loved ones.

Those accused of DWI may lose their cars

A relatively new provision of North Carolina's laws has given police another penalty that they can impose upon someone accused of drunk driving in this state.

Specifically, an officer can in some circumstances can impound a driver's car if the officer formally accuses the driver of DWI and determines that the operator's license is already suspended or revoked due to a drunk driving violation. This seizure happens when the person is arrested.

Creating an estate plan for one's health care needs

Rocky Mount, North Carolina, residents may think of estate planning as something that pertains to what happens to a person's property after he or she dies. While this is true, another important aspect to estate planning involves planning for a time in which a person can no longer make medical decisions for herself, even if those decisions involve life or death.

There are a couple of documents a person may use in this respect. The first is formally referred to as an advance directive may commonly be called a living will, even though it is not really a will in the legal sense of the term.

Common reasons people challenge wills

The term probate actually refers to the entire court process of divvying up the assets of a person after that person's death.

However, when many Rocky Mount, North Carolina residents refer to a will being stuck in probate, they may be referring to situations in which a disgruntled family member or even a third party like a charity challenges a person's will, alleging that the will is invalid.

Why am I being expected to buy title insurance?

Although title insurance is technically optional, many would-be buyers of homes in the Rocky Mount, North Carolina, area may have to fork over the money for a policy, usually at the insistence of the bank who is offering the mortgage.

It is actually not always a bad idea to obtain title insurance. While one might not think about it, or even care to, given the way our state determines ownership, it is fairly likely for mistakes or oversights to happen that could mean a person does not legally own all of the property she thinks she purchased.

Important components of an estate plan

Estate planning is a topic that many people don't like to think about. However, all adults must ensure that they have this taken care of. The last thing that your family members need when you pass away is the stress of dividing everything. Your estate plan does a lot more than that. It can also set up a plan for what is going to happen if you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

There are several things that you need to include in your estate plan. Each serves a specific purpose. As you go through this list, you might find that you don't need some but that you do need others.

  • Will: Your will outlines who is going to receive your assets. You won't cover anything that is being transferred by another method in the estate plan. When you create the will, ensure that it is done properly so that it will be valid when you pass away.
  • Trusts: You can put assets into trusts to transfer them to others upon your death. There are other benefits, depending on the type of trusts you establish. A special needs trust, for example, can provide for an heir without impacting their eligibility for need- or asset-based programs. Other trusts, namely irrevocable ones, can protect the assets from creditor claims.
  • Guardianship: A guardianship is critical for a parent who has minor children. This sets up a plan for who is going to care for the kids if both parents pass away. You should discuss the designation with the person who is named to ensure they are willing and able to handle this task.
  • Powers of attorney: The powers of attorney place someone else in charge of making financial and medical decisions for you if you can't make them for yourself. You can name the same person for both areas. However, you don't have to. Think about who can handle each set of decisions and plan accordingly.
  • Letter of intent: Your letter of intent isn't a legally binding message. Instead, it is meant to help your beneficiaries and executor to know more about your estate plan. You can write out your reasoning for the decisions you make, provide information about where specific accounts are held and note the location of important paperwork like deeds or insurance documents.
  • Beneficiary designation: Some of the assets that you own are governed by the payable on death designations. You don't include these in the estate plan, but you can leave a list for the people who will handle your estate. The assets impacted are ones like bank, investment and retirement accounts, as well as life insurance policies.

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Rocky Mount Office
120 North Franklin St.
Suite A
Rocky Mount, NC 27804

Phone: 252-557-4582
Fax: 252-972-9822
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Rocky Mount Office
P.O. Box 4307
Rocky Mount, NC 27803

Phone: 252-557-4582
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