A will is a document that states a person’s final wishes.  Most people associate wills with how a person wants to distribute his or her property after death.  However, a will can do other things as well.  Perhaps most importantly for families with minor children, parents can name who they want to be the guardian of their children if both parents die.  A will can also be a vehicle used to set up a trust that can be used for various purposes, including helping pay for the needs of dependents (minor children, persons with special needs, etc.).


A trust is an arrangement that allows a third party or entity to hold assets on behalf of and for the benefit of a beneficiary or beneficiaries.  There are many kinds of trusts such as living trusts, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts and special needs trusts. While most people associate trusts with wealthy individuals and families, trusts can be an effective estate planning tool for anybody who wants to set up a mechanism to help take care of loved ones once he or she has died.

column3-image1Living Wills

A living will (or Advance Directive for a Natural Death as it is known in North Carolina) is a document that states your desire that your life not be prolonged by artificial means if you are terminally ill with only a short period of time to live, in a permanent coma or in a persistent vegetative state.  It is often drawn up and used in conjunction with a health care power of attorney.

column1-image2Health Care POA

A health care power of attorney (HCPOA) is a document that allows someone to make decisions concerning medical treatment and care for you if you are unable or not competent to make these decisions yourself due to injury or illness.  A HCPOA is only in effect while you are not able to make your own decisions as to your treatment.  Once you can make these decisions yourself, the power given to the named health care agent in the HCPOA is rescinded.

column2-image1Durable POA

Often referred to as a “general” or “financial power of attorney”, a durable power of attorney (DPOA) allows someone to make financial or legal decisions on your behalf.  A DPOA can be drafted so that it goes into effect immediately upon signing or it can be drawn up so that it only goes into effect if you are declared incompetent or are incapacitated.

column3-image1Emergency Medical Authorization

Known by many other names, an Emergency Medical Authorization (EMA) is a limited health care power of attorney that allows for a caregiver of minor children other than the parents (such as grandparents or a babysitter) to seek medical attention for their charges if a child becomes sick or injured while in their care.  The EMA is only in effect until the parents can be contacted.

column3-image1Small Business Setup

We know that time is precious when trying to get your new business up and running.  Thornton Law Firm helps you with deciding what type of business entity you should set up, whether it be an LLC, a partnership or a S-Corporation.  We aid in the drafting and filing of the various legal documents necessary to properly set up your business.

column3-image1Operating Agreements

Every LLC should have a document that governs the internal workings of the organization.  A good operating agreement should cover things such as how internal meetings are run and what happens when a shareholder sells his or her interest in the business.