After your death, your assets will be transferred to the people you’ve designated to receive them — either through your Will, trust or other estate plan documents. This is why it’s important to understand how wills work in North Carolina and take action now to create yours.
If you die without a Will, you can leave your loved ones with a tremendous burden, and even put them at risk of losing the inheritance you intended for them. Without a Will, state laws will determine who receives your property after your death. Depending on where you live and what family members are available to serve as administrators of your estate (executors), these laws might not be as beneficial to you as a customized Will would be. Take this opportunity to learn how to make a Will in North Carolina today!
Who Can Make a Will in North Carolina?
Any adult who is of sound mind and not married can make a Will in North Carolina. If you’re married, your spouse can inherit all of your property automatically, even if you don’t have a Will. If you’re divorced, you can’t disinherit your former spouse, but you can still make a Will to designate how you’d like your property distributed, including gifts to your children from your previous marriage. If you’re a parent, it’s especially important to make a Will. You want to make sure that your children receive your estate according to your wishes — and if you don’t make a Will, they won’t.
How to make a will in North Carolina
The first step of making a Will is to decide who will be the beneficiaries of your estate. You can leave everything to one person or you can create a trust that distributes your assets to many different people. Next, you’ll need to decide what you want to leave each person. Will you leave cash, stocks, real estate, or other assets? If you have young children, you may want to leave them an inheritance that is held in trust for their benefit until they reach a certain age, such as 21 or 25.
If you have minor children from a previous marriage, you may also want to leave an inheritance for them in trust. Next, you’ll need to decide who will be in charge of your Will after you pass away. This person is called an executor. You may want to name someone who lives close to you so that the executor can quickly take care of your affairs.
You’ll also need to decide how you want to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries if there isn’t enough money to go around. You may want to add language to your Will stating that if you leave out someone who you feel deserves an inheritance, they can petition the court to be added.
Why You Should Make a Will
Making a Will is one of the most important things you can do to protect your family and your assets after you pass away. If you don’t have a Will, the state will decide where your assets go. This will cause confusion and may lead to family disputes. Your Will can also give you more control over your final wishes. It can let you name guardians for your children, decide who will inherit your assets, and even determine what happens to your body when you die.
What’s included in a typical NC Will
A Will is a legal document that designates who receives your assets when you pass away. Wills are highly personalized and can vary greatly, but they all include those three basic components. The person who creates a Will is called the “testator,” and the person who witnesses it is called the “witness.”
A Will must state:
– The testator’s full name and current address
– The testator’s date of birth
– The testator’s relationship to any dependents – The testator’s assets, debts and beneficiaries
– The testator’s reasons for making the Will
– The testator’s signature
– The signatures of two witnesses
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Will
If you die without a Will, your assets will be distributed according to state law. This could lead to family members receiving less than you intended, or it could lead to a complete disinheritance. Depending on your circumstances, it’s possible that your spouse could receive all of your assets, leaving your children with nothing.
Should you hire a lawyer to make your Will?
While it’s certainly possible to make a Will yourself, it’s not always a good idea. The process of creating a Will is complicated and can be confusing, especially for first-timers. If you’re not careful, you could make a mistake that could cause your Will to be deemed invalid. If you don’t have the time or patience to make a Will yourself, hiring a lawyer is a great option. Not only can a lawyer make the process much easier, but they can also help you avoid costly mistakes.
Hopefully, by now you understand why you should make a Will. By making a Will, you can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of according to your wishes, and that your assets go to the people who need them most. If you don’t have a Will, you run the risk of your assets being distributed according to state law, which might not be as beneficial to you as a customized Will would be. Now that you understand why you should make a Will, take this opportunity to learn how to make a Will in North Carolina today!