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Estate Plans and TrustCounsel by the Numbers

Posted on: April 27th, 2016
estate planning statisticsEstate planning is a comprehensive field that encompasses creating wills and trusts, planning for incapacity, reviewing assets and planning for retirement, probate concerns, and, of course, fees. April is Financial Literacy Month. After reviewing several surveys and polls, we gathered some interesting figures that shed light on how the majority of individuals approach estate plans. Some figures also show common costs related to North Carolina estate administration:

Investments, Wills, Trusts:

$3,000 – Median retirement savings per household (National Institute on Retirement Security, 2013)
36%– Individuals age 65 or older with a will. (NOLO poll, undated)
54%– Individuals who don’t have a will. (Lexis-Nexis, 2011) 
59%– Individuals who don’t have a living will. (Gallup poll, 2005)
63%– Individuals who don’t know what happens to their digital assets after death. (Rocket Lawyer survey, 2012)
$250,000 – Maximum fines for gun felony (including accidental felonies) if NFA firearms are not planned for properly in an estate plan.

North Carolina Estate Plans:

$320 – Minimum court costs for new North Carolina probate filings – includes court of justice fee, facilities, and phone fees. (2015)
$6,000 – Maximum NC estate administration fee. (4 percent of gross estate)
5 percent of estate receipts and disbursements – Maximum fee paid to North Carolina executors. (2016)
#15 – North Carolina’s national rank as a Top State for Trust Decanting. (Steve Oshins’ report, 2016)


4 – States served. (North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, and New York)
20 – Number of years TrustCounsel celebrates in practice in 2016.
10 – Number of years TrustCounsel’s blog celebrates in 2016. (Named a Top 25 estate planning blog in 2011 by LexisNexis.)
2 – Number of attorneys with the firm who are Board Certified Specialists in North Carolina Estate Planning and Probate Law. (Only 7 attorneys have this designation in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.)

Consider the last time you reviewed your estate plan. If it’s been a year or more, or a major life event has occurred, take time to check that assets are titled accordingly and that documents reflect your wishes. Share these numbers with a friend or family member and schedule a review of assets and estate plans.
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