Experienced Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorneys
Gorman & Associates’ lawyers collectively have more than fifty-five years’ experience preparing wills and trusts, as well as all other estate planning and elder law planning documents. We also have handled thousands of probate matters (estate administrations), and trust administrations. Our attorneys can be highly technical and detail oriented, but we always strive to explain things to our clients in plain and simple English, instead of “legalese.” And once you decide to go forward with our Firm, we typically
have all documents prepared within one week.
We Are Good Listeners
Step one for any estate plan is for your lawyer to understand what matters to you. We take the time to
listen to your needs. Estate and elder law planning is not a “one size fits all.” In a legally confidential
context, we will ask you about your family and relationships, about your life insurance and other assets,
to determine if there are any estate tax or probate issues, and to determine what documents are best
suited to your needs. We then tailor an estate plan specific to your situation, which fulfills your needs
Simple Wills & Guardianship
A few of our clients will only need a simple will, so that their desired distribution of assets will occur at
their death. If you do not have a will, a state statute dictates where everything goes, and the administration can become much more complex. If you have minor children, a guardianship provision
and a minor’s trust will be required, since children under 18 cannot legally inherit any type of property.
Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, and Medical Directives
We can draft and explain to you powers of attorney, living wills (which involve the ending of life-
sustaining treatment if you are terminally ill), and health care powers of attorney (which include naming
someone to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated).
Trusts Used to Avoid Probate
In most counties in North and South Carolina, probate (the administration of a decedent’s estate at the
courthouse) has become a relatively slow and expensive process. We can draft revocable living trusts to
avoid the probate process entirely. These trusts also have the advantage of making a much smoother
transition in the event of your incapacity or incompetence. As “revocable” trusts, they can be revoked
or changed by you at any time.
Trusts Used to Avoid Estate Taxes
For very large estates, Gorman & Associates can advise you regarding legal and ethical estate tax
avoidance. This typically involves various types of advanced revocable and irrevocable trusts. We have
experience in drafting these advanced trusts, including charitable remainder and charitable lead trusts,
GRATs, GRUTs, and charitable foundations.
Elder Law Issues
We have vast experience in elder law planning, which addresses those issues which arise because of
one’s age. Many clients seek to have Medicare and Medicaid pay for their long term care, and protect
their assets from being eroded by high medical or nursing home costs. This can sometimes be
accomplished by various gifting programs, or by placing assets in an irrevocable living trust. However,
because there are complex government regulations pertaining to these arrangements, including a five-
year “lookback” period, they must be approached with caution. For veterans, we also have experience
setting up VA Trusts to maximize the benefits available to a veteran and his or her spouse. Additionally,
questions about guardianship, legal incompetency, and incapacity, as well as living wills and medical
powers of attorney, are all subjects covered in our elder law planning.
Probate (Estate Administration)
The attorneys at Gorman & Associates can help you through the probate process by completing all of the required documentation for the Court, opening bank accounts in the name of the estate, obtaining
tax IDs from the IRS, preparing all of the required accountings and probate audits, coordinating with
your income tax professionals, and all other steps necessary in the probate process. We can often offer
you a fixed fee for this service, so there is no mystery regarding what it will cost.
When you need to act as a trustee, we can assist you in marshalling the trust assets, opening trust bank
accounts, obtaining tax IDs from the IRS, and drafting trust certifications. We can also prepare a
thorough and complete accounting of all trust assets, suggest ways to handle transfers and distributions,
and deal with all of the beneficiaries, even if you are not on good terms. With our extensive knowledge
of real estate and corporate law, we can handle estates and trusts that involve extensive real estate and
In the event that your estate or trust involves real property, or personal or commercial interests
overseas, Gorman & Associates can seamlessly handle your estate planning and estate administration needs. We are a proud member of the IR Global International Network, based in London, U.K., with over 1,000 legal and accounting professionals in more than 155 jurisdictions worldwide. We can team up with our friends in the IR Global network to give you expert local representation, no matter where assets are located.