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5 Easy Steps to Kick Start your Estate Plan

Estate Planning- Undoubtedly we have all thought about it, but for one reason or another we put it off. Do I really need a Will? Am I old enough to have an Estate? Do I have enough assets to warrant an Estate Plan? Doesn't my family already know what my wishes are?

As an Estate Planning Professional, I get asked the above on a regular basis. The truth is everyone can benefit from some estate planning. We all take an active role in our day to day affairs, whether they be financial, health or family matters. What happens when you're no longer able to take that active role in your day to day affairs? Estate Planning allows you to maintain that control and takes the guess work out of what your wishes and goals are, thereby giving you and your family peace of mind. So if you've ever thought about Estate Planning, below are 5 steps to get you started in created an Estate Plan. 

​Resolutions are not just for New Year's! If estate planning is something you've considered doing, make it a priority and give yourself a deadline to get it accomplished. Having it in writing and giving yourself a goal makes it a lot more likely that you will take action. Estate Planning is a process so the sooner you get started the sooner you'll give yourself and your family the gift of peace of mind.

No matter how old or young you are, or how rich or poor you are, we all have an estate. How can that be? Your estate encompasses everything you owned and owed during life at death. After reconciling your assets with your debts, the left-over assets are then distributed to your heirs. You have control over these decisions when you're living; who is going to make those decisions when you are no longer able?

Each state has default rules for how your Estate will be handled, and, if you don't actively plan, those default rules will control. It's highly unlikely that those default rules align with your needs and wants. The good news is that you can override those default rules by doing your own estate planning. Through Estate Planning you can maintain control over things like who will care for your minor children, how your assets will be distributed, who makes health care decisions and more.

You're not expected to know all the answers nor should you know all the right questions to ask. However, you should begin thinking about what your long term goals are for you and your family. Undoubtedly when you first get started you may have more questions than answers. Realize that this is perfectly normal and more than okay when you're beginning the process. But you can't begin progress toward your goals without taking the active steps of gathering your thoughts and questions.

Once you're ready to take the next step, contact a NC Estate Planning attorney to help you implement your estate plan. An Estate Planning attorney will sit down with you and discuss your goals and concerns about estate planning. They will answer your questions and ask you questions to make sure that they fully understand your motivations and objectives. The attorney will prepare an estate plan and provide you the peace of mind that you and your loved ones are taken care of according to your wishes.

About Maria 

I was born in Warsaw, Poland and back then my name was Maria Pruszynska. When I was a child, my father immigrated to the United States in pursuit of a better life than was available under Poland's Communist regime. When I was 8 years old, I moved to Charlotte with my mom and brother to reunite our family and Charlotte has been home ever since.

My first memory in the United States was seeing the July 4th fireworks and learning the history behind the holiday. The values of hard work and perseverance were installed in me at a very young age. My parents encouraged me to go to law school due to my compassion for people and an ability to negotiate for the things that were important to me.

I graduated at the top of my class from Mecklenburg County Schools and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Heels!). While at UNC, I was involved in several leadership organizations on Campus. I achieved the Dean's List every semester while working part time at Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, and I graduated a semester early.

Upon graduation, I moved back to Charlotte and worked as a paralegal for a Real Estate attorney. This position allowed me to see the practice of law first hand. I enjoyed interacting with clients and making a difference in their lives. Seeing the impact of sound legal advice in people's lives solidified my desire to attend law school.

I graduated from Emory University School of Law. While at Emory, I took several classes in the field of Estate Planning and Administration. These classes combined with personal life experiences inspired my desire to pursue the field in my professional career. This desire always stayed with me even though right out of law school my career took a different path.

After graduation, I moved back to Charlotte to pursue my legal career. I spent five years litigating Real Estate matters for local and national financial and banking institutions. Although I enjoyed my job, I often felt like a cog in a giant machine. I wasn't able to form long lasting relationships with my clients because my contacts were frequently changing. I missed seeing clients face to face and being invested in their lives and well-being. After all, being able to make a direct impact in my clients' lives was my original inspiration for pursuing law, and I needed to get back to the heart of this personal mission.

I opened Satterfield Legal to focus specifically on forging client relationships. I want to help you achieve peace of mind by knowing that your affairs are in order. I want to be your advocate so that you know that your most personal matters are being handled by a trusted advisor.

I look forward to meeting you and assisting you with your legal needs.

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Thursday, 19 October 2017

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