Below are some common questions and answers about estate planning, especially regarding making a will.
Why should I prepare a will?
A will protects your interests in your property after you die. It is a legally binding document that dictates what property a person may inherit after a loved one dies. Many wills also contain provisions that name an executor, power of attorney and a guardian for the care of any minor children. It can also establish the provisions of a living will.
If I do not have a will, what will happen to my property if I die?
If you die without a will, this is called intestate. The North Carolina Intestate Succession Act will dictate the inheritance rights of the decedent’s property. Generally the spouse and children (also known as issue) are first to inherit under intestacy laws. If there is not a spouse or children, then usually parents, siblings, and grandparents are the next to inherit. If there are no relatives that qualify then the state will be given the property.
Is a handwritten will (holographic will) valid in NC?
Yes, as long as the correct formalities are followed under North Carolina law.
Can I revise my will after it is made?
Yes, by executing a new will or by making additions through a codicil. A written will can generally only be legally revoked by an express statement in a new will that revokes all previous wills.
These are just preliminary questions you may have when deciding whether or not to prepare a will. Since no one can predict the future, it is better to be prepared. If you need any further information or believe you need a consultation, please fill out the consultation form or feel free to contact me by phone.