Cary, North Carolina Estate Planning Attorney and Legacy Law Center
Design Your Legacy
Your #1 Resource for Protecting Your Family Through Effective Estate Planning in North Carolina
Enjoy the Peace of Mind that Comes With Knowing that Your Family is Protected. Get Started Today.Learn More Get My Free Report
Are Your Children Protected from This One Hidden Danger? Watch this video to find out…
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How Can We Help You?
Free Estate Planning Resources to Get Your Started…
I Need to Protect My Family
Two-thirds of Americans don’t have a will, let alone a comprehensive estate plan. Many more have some documents, but haven’t looked at them in years. Whether you need to get started on your estate plan, or you need to update your old plan, this is a great starting place for you.
I need to Protect My Children
Do You know what would happen to your children if you and you spouse didn’t make it home one night? Do you have legal paperwork set up so that your children wouldn’t be taken into protective custody? Does your babysitter have proper instructions on what to do if they can’t reach you? This is where you should start.
I need to protect my assets.
Asset Protection goes hand in hand with estate planning. If you are concerned that your assets will not be used in the manner you intend, or that they will end up with a creditor or divorcing spouse, then you should start here to learn more about asset protection planning.
Our Estate Planning Process
The First Call
When you initially call our office, you will be greeted by our warm and friendly receptionist. Let them know that you are interested in scheduling a Wealth Planning Session and they will transfer you to Mr. Hart to have a short introductory call. If you would like to schedule a time for Mr. Hart to call you at your convenience, please click the link below.Schedule an Intro Call »
The Wealth Planning Session
The Wealth Planning Session is where we get to know you and start to learn about your hopes and dreams. We will talk to you about what would happen to your assets and your family if something tragic were to happen to you without further planning. At the end of this session, we will determine your next steps.Read More »
Designing Your Plan
At the conclusion of the Wealth Planning Session, we will work with you to pick a planning option according to what you are looking to accomplish and your budget. Then we will start the process of designing a plan that will best meet both your needs and the needs of your family. We will help you determine how to pass on your assets and pick guardians for your children.Read More »
The Signing Meeting
About 3-4 weeks after your design meeting, we will schedule a signing meeting. During this meeting, we will go over your estate plan with you, answer any questions you may have and make sure that all your documents are properly notarized and witnessed. We will also give you funding instructions, your kids emergency action plan (if you have children) and provide you with questions so that you can properly prepare for your Legacy Conversation™.Read More »
Delivering Your Plan
About 3-4 weeks after your signing meeting, we will invite you back to our office to deliver your final estate planning documents to you. During this meeting we will also conduct your initial Legacy Conversation™ and go over the funding process with you to make sure you are on track. In addition, we will go over our membership plan options with you.Read More »
Ongoing Reviews and Check-Ups for Life
Finishing your plan is just the beginning of your relationship with our office. If you choose to join one of our membership and education programs, you will meet with us at least once per year to review and update your estate plan. We will also stay in touch through weekly educational emails and monthly newsletters, as well as periodic workshops and client appreciation events.Read More »
The Latest Estate Planning News and Tips
Practical Advice You Can Put to Use Immediately
In North Carolina, the legislature has prepared a statutory short form power of attorney to help and guide attorneys and citizens who need a durable power of attorney. (Which is pretty much everyone). However, just because it is out there, doesn’t mean you should use it. Here is a link to the statutory short form. (Or scroll to the bottom of this page, I’ve copied and pasted the form into this post). But if the Law Provides this Form, isn’t that good enough? No, not necessarily. Here is a story that illustrates what I’m talking about. Yesterday I was meeting with […]
Recently, I’ve had a number of inquiries from family members of elderly parents who need to figure out how to pay for nursing home care without draining their life savings. This is a complex and tricky area of the law, and if done incorrectly, can lead to a lot of problems. For that reason, I’ve reached out to another elder law attorney in Raleigh to assist me with some of these issues. Yesterday, he was kind enough to allow me to sit in on one of his seminars and learn more about the process of paying for nursing home care. […]
Taxes are one of the most confusing areas of the law. Whether this is intentional or not is subject to much debate, but one thing is certain – if you are able to play the game correctly, you can save yourself (and your heirs) lots of money. Many people get confused by terms like “step up in basis,” when in reality it shouldn’t be that confusing. But then again, that is easy for me to say, I get paid to give legal advice including, from time to time, basic advice about taxes. What is a Capital Gain? Before we talk […]
A common estate planning technique that I have talked frequently about on this blog is to place all your assets into a Revocable Living Trust. There are a number of benefits to this strategy, including: Maintaining Privacy for Your Family Ease and Cost of Administration Probate Avoidance Administrative Flexibility during Your Incapacity and after Your Death Asset Protection Estate Tax Avoidance But that is not to say that there aren’t issues that crop up when you decide to place real estate into a trust, which many people do. Here are just a few of the considerations you must think about […]
This morning I came across an article on JD Supra that discussed several scenarios when an accidental disinheritance could occur. An accidental what? An accidental disinheritance. In other words, you inadvertently disinherit a loved one by failing to properly update your estate plan on a regular basis. Instead of your life insurance proceeds or retirement accounts going to the people you intended them to go to, such as your adult children, they go to an ex-spouse or your step-children whom you hadn’t intended to leave money to. This most frequently can happen after a divorce or remarriage, if one of […]
If you are reading this because you recently found out that you have a terminal condition, such as cancer or ALS, let me first say how sorry I am. I still remember the conversation with my sister telling me that my Mother had terminal cancer. My Mom couldn’t or wouldn’t process the information from the doctor, so my sister made the call. It was a tough conversation with lots of tears. It created a lot of uncertainty and questions, such as “how much time does she have?” and “what can we expect in the coming months?” I can’t even begin […]
Words of Praise for The Hart Law Firm…
“Highly Recommend. I found Mr. Hart to be extremely helpful. He spent a lot of time with me, and laid out a plan that I both understood, and gave me options.”
Our Philosophy and Core Beliefs
Estate Planning is more than just a legal practice… to us it is a calling.
Why I Became an Estate Planning Attorney.
My name is Jim Hart and I’m the founding attorney here at The Hart Law Firm. I started this practice back in 2005 with the core belief that building a business is nothing more than building relationships, establishing trust, and providing true value to my clients.
As the years have gone come and gone, my practice has changed, but the reasons I started that little law practice in Central Florida 12 years ago have not. Building lasting relationships with my clients is still my primary goal, but that was just not possible with a practice that was centered exclusively on breaking families up. By adding estate planning to the practice, I am able to build a long lasting, lifetime relationship with my clients.Continue Reading →
Words of Praise for The Hart Law Firm
“Straight forward advice, genuine concern for my situation and didn’t make me feel that I’m just another paycheck. By offering me options to suit my needs and presenting methods to accomplish in my own if possible but also offering me a comfortable option if hired as my lawyer, I left our consultation feeling confident in the road ahead of me.”
“Great first impression. He listened to my situation and commented on what I was doing well and also on some areas that I could improve on. By the end of our session, I felt very comfortable and am still happy with my decision to see Mr. Hart. Hopefully, I won’t need him (or any other lawyers in the future), but if my circumstances change and I am in need of an attorney, he will be the first one I contact.”
“He treated me like a person who actually cared and not just a paying client. He was very warm and welcoming. He seemed to truly care about what I was going thru. Instead of making me feel like a paying customer.. He took a very long time to get to know me and my situation. He truly has a heart for what he does. It shows in his work and the way he treats people. I would def recommend him as an attorney.”
“I was nervous going in but once you starti talking with James, he made me feel like an old friend just having a conversation. He is knowledgeable and answer all my questions with honesty. Within the first 5 minutes I knew he was a lawyer to trust not someone who will take your money with no results.”
“I was recommended to Attorney Hart by one of his peers and had a meeting with him immediately feeling a connection of care and concern. He made no promises but did more for me in three weeks than my other attorney had done in a year. I am so fortunate that I found someone who cares about his clients and takes it personal. He literally worked on my case day and night catching up with the details. I appreciated his dedication and determination for me.”
– Anonymous Client
“A Good guy and a good attorney. Jim was very up front and informative. He will explain all options that are available to you.”
“Mr. Hart was wonderful. He walked me through everything and even told me how I could do what I needed to do cheaper using other resources. I love that he has a small practice and bases who he chooses to represent based on the clients morals and ethics. I knew I had found the right firm when I read his website. He made sure that he answered all my questions and listened intently to my story. When I emailed and cancelled my initial consultation… he wished me luck and said that he hoped I never had to contact him again. He seems like a genuinely good man, something that was a comfort to find during this difficult situation. I would highly recommend him to anyone who unfortunately finds themselves in my situation.”