AZ Asks Theodora Vaporis: When and at what age should you start thinking about estate planning?


Theodora Vaporis has been an attorney for twenty-two years. For the past ten years she has practiced with the Greensboro firm of Rossabi Black Slaughter, P.A., a multi-specialty law firm where she specializes in Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Estate Litigation and Guardianship Law. Theodora is licensed to practice in North Carolina, California, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.

She is a member of the Greensboro Bar Association, North Carolina Bar Association, Greensboro Estate Planning Council, Society for Financial Professionals and the North Carolina Women’s Bar Association. She is also a member of the North Carolina Legislative Committee on Estate and Fiduciary Law which drafts legislation pertinent to her field of practice. Theodora is very active in the Greek Community and sits on the Diversity Committee at Greensboro Day School. Theodora can be reached directly at or 336.378.1899

There is no better time than NOW; to consider estate planning. Whether you’re eighteen with limited assets or fifty with accumulated wealth it’s never too soon to start thinking about how you would like your property distributed.  It is also important to have your living will and health care power of attorney in place, so that your personal desires are executed when needed.

What exactly is Estate Planning and how will this benefit me?

An “estate” is simply a formal way to describe any property that you may own at your death. Most people agree that they should be able to decide who gets their property if they die; who manages their affairs and pays their bills; who makes health care decisions for them if they become incapacitated; and most important, who should take care of their children if they cannot. All of these basic but important decisions are part of “estate planning”.

What are some of the legal documentations needed when setting up an estate plan?

  • Will – this legal document allows you to control how and to whom your property passes after your death.
  • Living Trusts – is a revocable trust that a person (the Grantor) establishes usually for their own initial benefit. A Living Trust is one way to avoid some of the fees and expenses of probate after death because any assets transferred to trust are not required to go through the probate process.
  • Other trusts – There are numerous other trusts, both revocable and irrevocable, which serve many purposes including Education Trust, Life Insurance Trusts and Special Needs Trusts.
  • Durable Power of Attorney – this allows you to appoint another person to act on your behalf if you are unable. This person can step into your shoes and make financial decisions for you.
  • Health Care Power of Attorney – this allows you to appoint another person to make health care decisions for you (subject to the limitations you impose) should you become physically  unable. Everyone over the age of eighteen 918) should have a Health Care Power of Attorney and students should be encouraged to execute one prior to going off to college.
  • Living Will – is an affirmative statement you make that deals with end of life decisions. This document allows you to decide whether you want artificial life support including nutrition and hydration, if you cannot communicate your own decisions.

Trying to understand the estate plan that is right for you can be a complex task. You should seek the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney who stays current with the laws of your State. As an experienced estate attorney, I would be happy to discuss all the options available to you. Please contact me at 336.378.1899 or

Theodora Vaporis is not affiliated with Zuraw Financial Advisors, LLC.


About Ann Zuraw

Ann Zuraw, the voice behind "Chicks, Chat and Change", is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™).If you have comments on this post contact Ann Zuraw

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,