Frequently Asked Questions


For answers to common estate & business planning questions, continue reading or contact us today.  

  • General

    • Need Probate or Trust Management?

      Your designated executor may be overwhelmed with challenging details.  We can assist and/or manage the legal details for you.

    • Have a Special Family Need or a Small Business?

      Providing needed support and care throughout the lifetime of our special needs family members is part of effective estate planning. If you own a small business, smooth transitions when owners die or are disabled are empowered with effective planning and protection. We can help you plan for and fund these essential support needs.

    • Do You Have an Effective Estate Plan?

      It is important to ensure your estate plan fits your unique family situation. By taking a comprehensive view of your unique family situation we can help you craft an estate plan that accomplishes what matters most to you.

  • Estate Planning

    • We have a family business and all of our business and family assets are divided up in our will. Why do we need an estate plan?

      Integrating personal and business estate planning provides the advantage of addressing the "what if" questions more thoroughly. If two of your heirs are running the business and two other heirs want to sell it off immediately, how does your will address this? If your spouse is disabled and depends on an income from the business, what happens to that income when it's sold? There are many details that need to be thoroughly explored and addressed when you own a business. A comprehensive estate plan offers protection and support for those you care about.

    • My spouse and I had a will written 7 years ago when we began our family. Can we update our will to include our third child?

      For parents of children under the age of 18, I recommend a review of your estate plans at least every 3 years. Changes in your circumstances or laws can have a profound effect. Do your current plans designate your preferred person/people as the guardian(s) for your children? Are they still able to do so? Will funds be available to raise and educate your children? Do you have a child with special needs ? How will that child be supported and cared for? Do you wish to place any restrictions on when older children can receive an inheritance? These are just a few of the areas that need re-evaluation every few years.

    • Why is it important to do an estate plan and review it every few years? Why can't I purchase legal templates and create my own?

      Personalized legal expertise make the difference between a plan that works and one that can create chaos. If you invest in doing it right with expert legal counsel now, you and your family will have a comprehensive plan that works when it needs to and transitions are smoother. A do-it-yourself plan may work sometimes, but you or your heirs could face pitfalls in the plan and large legal fees later.

    • How does estate planning with you differ from estate planning with other attorneys?

      Many attorneys have the legal and technical know-how to create a good estate plan. What I add to the high-quality estate plans my clients need is a personal focus that goes beyond the nuts and bolts of estate planning. Together we will create and add the personal context for your estate plan. Generations within your family will be able to hear you talk about key events in your life, what's important to you, and memories you'd like to share with them. You'll have a strong estate architecture with the documents you need plus an audio recording and a photo book or video that your heirs will cherish when you're no longer here.

    • What will your flat fee be?

      In our initial meeting I can give you a fee range based upon the scope and complexity of the work I need to do. The fee will be finalized once I am able to review your informational documents and discern whether additional or specialized work is required.

    • What is your hourly rate for estate planning?

      Rather than charging clients for each hour or portion of an hour of work, I charge a flat fee for an estate plan. This includes our planning meeting(s), your questions, my research and planning work and the services of our support staff. The flat fee includes only the services and documents you need and it varies depending on the complexity of the work we need to do.

Take Your Next Step

Protect your legacy by contacting attorney lora M. Howard today

Ms. Howard is admitted to practice in North Carolina state courts and U.S. District Courts for the Middle District of North Carolina. Contact us online or by dialing (336) 585-7009 to start planning your legacy today.

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