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How will probate effect my estate?

The process of settling a person's will after their death is called probate. Probate is usually handled in court and can be complicated, time consuming and expensive. Fortunately, depending on what the property is and how much the value of a person's estate is, not everything has to go through probate.

In our previous blog we looked at a few key documents for any estate plan. We will now look at the basics of what does and does not require probate, how property value comes into play and what property may end up needing probate.

A well-rounded estate plan can include some basic documents

Some people in North Carolina know that estate planning and administration will be an important part of their lives and the lives of their loved ones. One basic document to include in an estate plan is a will. A will can designate who is to inherit which assets. If you do not have a will when you pass away, your estate will be subject to intestate succession, wherein state law determines who is to inherit your estate, which may not be what you would have chosen. For parents with minor children, a will can also name a person who will be guardian of your children should you die before your children are grown. Again, without a will, it is the state that will make such decisions. So, if you have a preference, it is prudent to execute a will.

Another basic document to include in an estate plan is a living will. This document states what medical care you'd like to receive if you are incapacitated and cannot communicate what your preferences are. For example, would you want to be kept on life support? Some people may say "yes," while others may say "no." A living will can serve as your voice when you are unable to express your opinions yourself and can provide some much-needed guidance to your loved ones during a difficult time.

How has health care law addressed changes in technology?

We live in an age of technological advancements, and the health care industry has seen major changes in the way patients' information is recorded and stored. Hand-written notes and rows of file folders have been replaced in many health care facilities in North Carolina and nationwide by electronic records. These electronic records may be used by health care providers and insurers, but it is important that these records are kept confidential.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, commonly known as "HIPAA," introduced privacy protections for patients' identifying health information. Two rules published following that Act that affect health care providers are the Privacy Rule and the Security Rule. It is important that health care providers understand what these rules are, so they can ensure they remain in compliance.

How can you include charitable giving in your estate plan?

Many people feel a great sense of satisfaction in charitable giving. After all, many people have causes they feel passionately about and want to support. One way that people can give to a favorite charity is through their estate plan. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this.

One way to give to a favorite charity through estate planning is by including a bequest to a charity in your will. Another way to make a charitable donation is by naming a charity as the beneficiary on your retirement accounts. Charitable trusts are another way to pass your assets on to a favorite charity.

Address partnership disputes in North Carolina before they arise

Entering a new partnership can be the start of a great business endeavor. Many entrepreneurs in North Carolina decide that by combining forces, they can introduce to the market a business that is stronger than it would be if it were a sole proprietorship. However, during the business formation process, business partners should anticipate that during the course of doing business, partnership disputes could arise. Fortunately, there are steps business partners can take from the get-go to mitigate the chance of partnership disputes occurring in the future.

First, business partners may want to execute a signed operating agreement before opening their doors or making other major life decisions in anticipation of the future partnership. The operating agreement should include provisions regarding the role each partner will play in the business, how they will be compensated and what protections they will enjoy both now and in the future.

An introduction to breach of contract in North Carolina

Businesses enter into contracts with the expectation that the terms of the contract will be fulfilled. Yet contract parties often fail to perform according to the letter of the contracts that obligate them to perform. North Carolina's legal system offers a remedy for parties who have been hurt by a failure to respect a contract. This blog post will provide a quick overview of what happens when a breach of contract is alleged.

Let's say one party makes a contract to purchase a load of lumber to be delivered on Monday morning. Monday morning rolls around and the seller arrives with the lumber. The buyer inspects it and sees that the agreed-upon amount and quality of lumber is there. The buyer then tenders the agreed-upon amount of money to the seller. The contract has been satisfied and no breach of contract has happened.

We understand health care law and how the industry works

Due to a plethora of legal and regulatory issues, health care providers in Greensboro, North Carolina, require efficient and effective legal assistance. Disputes can arise between providers and the government and between providers and patients. It is important to have advice that is both reliable and up to date. An example of an area where this is very important is the opioid epidemic and the government response to it.

A few weeks ago, we told you about a new initiative of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services increasing provider access to information about which patients may be at risk of opioid addiction and abuse. The initiative has the twin goals of increasing access to patient information and reducing the time providers need to access the information.

Comparing arbitration and mediation in business disputes

When your small business faces a dispute, the path to a resolution can seem daunting. Whether over a breach of contract, partnership disagreement or something else, a dispute can be threatening to the success of your company.

As a business owner, it is in your best interests to consider every option to efficiently resolve the dispute. Fortunately for many, going to court is not the only option. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques can offer a more collaborative, cost-effective way to address a dispute. Two of these techniques, arbitration and mediation, may be suitable options for you to consider.

Controlled Substance Reporting System expanding in North Carolina

North Carolina health care providers know that their industry is very heavily regulated and that compliance with these regulations is a must. Whether it is compliance with government mandates such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or choosing a corporate form appropriate for health care providers, there can be a lot of health care law to keep track of. A recent initiative announced last month it typical of the kind of thing providers will want to follow carefully.

On November 26, North Carolina's governor announced that prescribers now have access to the state's Controlled Substance Reporting System. Medical practices are now able to request a connection through agencies of the state government. As the state describes it, providers will be able to access the Controlled Substance Reporting System instantly with one click.

The importance of updating a will throughout your life

Planning for the future often involves writing a will and creating a comprehensive estate plan. Creating these plans is an important step, but it's by no means the first and last time to think about your estate throughout your lifetime.

Any number of factors may influence a person or couple's estate plan. Positive life changes as well as the negatives might prompt an update to a will or trust, meaning you should keep all estate plans up-to-date with the changes that happen over the years.

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Connors Morgan PLLCConnors Morgan, PLLC

Connors Morgan, PLLC
1175 Revolution Mill Dr. #8
Greensboro, NC 27405

Phone: 336-645-8422
Fax: 336-333-7909
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