Wills are a popular and highly effective way to plan for the distribution of your property and assets following your death. A will gives you legal authority to designate who will receive your property, how much they will receive, and the timeframe in which they will receive it. Without a will, the distribution of your property will be decided impartially by state law, which may not be what you would have wanted.
Anyone who benefits from owning property or having assets should have a will if they want to document their influence over how those assets are distributed after their death. The best way to manage your affairs is by working with an experienced wills attorney who can educate you on the process and ensure that your will is valid and will be followed.
We help individuals and families in Charlotte, North Carolina, plan for their future by creating valid wills that accurately document their wishes. We understand this can be a sensitive and emotional process, so we take the time upfront to personally know our clients and their families.
We also understand that everyone’s situation is different, which is why we offer personalized legal solutions. We will create a will that meets your unique needs and ensures your property and assets are distributed exactly as you’d like.
What Does a Will Do?
A will is a legal document that allows you to control how your property and assets will be distributed after your death. For example, you can use a will to:
- Designate who will receive your property and assets
- Determine how much each person will receive
- Decide when each person will receive their inheritance
- Appoint a guardian for minor children
- Name an executor to carry out your wishes
Some people are under the impression that sharing their post-mortem intentions with family and friends to ensure they are carried out is enough, but this could not be further from the truth. A will guarantees your estate is not taken advantage of or inaccurately distributed after your death.
What Are Common Misconceptions About Wills?
There are many misconceptions about wills, which often prevent people from taking this important step in estate planning. Some of the most common misconceptions include:
- I don’t need a will because I have little property or assets.
This is not correct. Everyone can and should have a will, regardless of the value of their property or assets. Even if you only own a few belongings, you can still dictate who will receive them after your death. Knowing that your possessions will go to the people you love can put you more at ease.
- A will is only for old people.
A will is for anyone who owns property or has assets. There is no minimum age requirement to create a will. It is best to create a will as soon as you become an adult and start accumulating assets. So long as you keep it updated, your wishes will always be carried out according to your most current desires.
- I don’t need a will because I’m married.
If you are married, you still need a will to ensure that your property and assets are distributed according to your wishes. While your spouse may automatically receive some of your property, you may want some of your other valuables to go to family members or friends. Additionally, if you have young children, you will need to appoint a guardian in your will in the event something happens to both you and your spouse simultaneously.
- I don’t need a will because I have a trust.
A will and a trust are very different. A will is used to designate your property and assets after you die, while a trust is used to manage your property and assets. You can have one or both, but a trust is not required to have a valid will.
What Happens If I Die Without a Will in Charlotte, NC?
If you pass away without a will, your property and assets will be distributed according to state law. This means that you do not have any input into who will receive your property or how much they will receive. Neglecting to codify a will can cause unnecessary stress and conflict for your loved ones during an already difficult time.
The pain of losing a loved one is hard enough, but having to deal with the fallout of an intestate estate can be too much for some people to handle as tensions run high with family members who may not agree on how they believe you would have wanted things handled. Eliminate the guesswork and potential conflict by creating a will today.
What Are the Requirements for Creating a Will?
In North Carolina, the requirements for creating a will are as follows:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must be of sound mind and understand the nature of your property and assets and the people to whom you are leaving them.
- Your will must be in writing. It can either be typed or handwritten, but it must be legible.
- You and two witnesses must sign your will. The witnesses cannot be people who are beneficiaries of your will.
- You do not need to have a lawyer to create a will, but it is highly recommended.
These requirements are put in place to protect you and ensure your will is valid. If you do not meet these requirements, your will could be challenged in court and may not be upheld.
Don’t wait to create your will. It’s important to have your affairs in order and your final wishes down on paper. If you pass away without a will, your loved ones will have to deal with the consequences. We can help you create a valid will that meets all of the requirements under North Carolina law.