Charlotte Wills Attorneys
Preparing a Last Will and Testament
In the simplest of terms, a last will and testament is a legal document that dictates what will happen to your possessions, property, and other assets upon your death. When someone dies without a will, they are said to of died “intestate,” and the laws of North Carolina will decide how property is to be distributed. Furthermore, if you have children, the state could be in charge of deciding who is to care for your minor children. With that, having a last will and testament that specifically outlines your wishes is crucial to making sure that your possessions and property are distributed in a way you would like, and that you have input into whom should be named as guardian of your minor children.
At Rech Law, P.C., we can prepare a last will and testament that fits your specific wants and needs. Learn more by contacting us at (704) 659-0007.
Providing You With Control
Even if you have a small estate, or do not have any children, it is still important to create a last will and testament so you can have a say in the distribution of your:
- Other assets
A living will, also known as an advanced healthcare directive, is a legal document that expresses an individual’s desire to either be kept alive through the use of medical technology should he or she become terminal and unable to express his or her wishes. Having a living will in place will make your desires clear, and avoid conflicting opinions regarding your care from your loved ones. In most circumstances, a living will works in conjunction with a healthcare power of attorney. We recommend that you discuss wishes regarding end of life care and life support with your loved ones and your designated agent.
In addition to the above, our office can assist you in decision making for a durable power of attorney to facilitate financial decisions should you be unable.
What Are the Requirements for Making a Will in North Carolina?
The requirements to make a will legally enforceable and binding in North Carolina are fairly simple:
- You must sign your will in front of two or more witnesses; and
- Your witnesses must then sign your will in front of you.
If you wish to make a will self-proving, meaning an executor won't need to "prove" the validity of the will to a probate court after your death, you need to have it notarized.
To revoke or change a will, you must:
- Make a new will that explicitly voids the previous will (if you self-proved the first will, you should self-prove this one as well); or
- You or someone under your direction must burn, tear, cancel, obliterate, or destroy the will.
- A Codicil can be used to edit a will without revoking it entirely.
Always consult with a professional before making changes to your Estate Planning Documents!
What Happens to My Will After I Die? Why Make a Will?
You can use your will to establish an executor. When you pass away, your executor will be responsible for various filings with the court where you resided and working with financial institutions and beneficiaries for distributions. During this time, the executor will work together with the court to ensure a decedent's (deceased person's) last wishes are carried out and their property is properly distributed.
If you fail to make a will, your estate will be handled according to state intestacy laws. This often means the probate court appoints an heir as the estate executor and then distributes property according to intestacy statutes. If you want to designate a specific person as your executor or make sure certain property is awarded to specific people, especially no-relatives, having a last will and testament is absolutely vital.
Our Charlotte will lawyers will work closely with you throughout every step of the estate planning process, ensuring that your will is comprehensive and meets all your needs, so you can rest easy knowing your legacy is in good hands.
At Rech Law, we can help explain your options to you regarding a living will and create one that most reflects your wishes. Give us a call at (704) 659-0007 to get started.