Why Do I Need a Will In North Carolina?

When you pass, a properly executed will determines how your money, personal effects, and often your real property will be distributed. A will directs the distribution of everything you own, to the individuals you would like to have it. This includes family members, close friends, and even an organization or charity. Most individuals assume that without a will, their property will automatically be given to their spouse and/or children. However, according to  the laws of Intestate Succession in North Carolina, this is not always the case. Or, in the alternative, your assets do not pass exactly the way in which you would prefer.

Avoid The Laws of Intestate Succession

In North Carolina, when a person passes without having written a will, their property is distributed according to the laws of intestate succession. Generally speaking, the laws of intestate succession state that while your spouse may still receive part of your estate, any living relative may also claim a portion as well. This could his mean a grandparent, cousin, aunts, uncles, siblings, nieces, nephews, or children. Any of these individuals might successfully argue that they are entitled to a portion of your estate. With a well written will, however, you can help to assure that your assets are distributed as you wish.

Distributing Items of Worth and Family Heirlooms

Over your lifetime, you may have acquired some items that mean a great deal to you. For example, you may have inherited a special family heirloom, and you promise your child that she will inherit it after you pass. Without a will, any living family members may lay claim to this heirloom, regardless of what you may have told your child. This also works for any personal items, including financial assets. The will speaks for you, after you pass. It provides clear direction, clears up confusion, and assures your loved ones receive what you want them to receive.

Disagreeing Family Members

There are also those instances where you may wish to make sure that someone takes none of your property. Arguments or disagreements with siblings are a good example. If two siblings are at odds and one of them passes, unless there is a will to clearly state that the sibling is not to take from the will, the laws of intestate succession may entitle that sibling to a share of the property from the will.

How Can I Have A Will Written?

The truth is, online and handwritten wills are not the most efficient and/or legal methods of having a will written. In reality, anyone who is seeking out a way to have a will written should contact and speak to or work with a North Carolina lawyer. This way, you can rest assured that your will won’t be challenged as invalid after you pass. You’ll also be sure to explicitly state your intentions and wishes in the language of the will, by using language your lawyer knows will accomplish your wishes.

Our Estate Planning Package

The Layton Law Firm, PLLC offers a basic estate planning package that meets all the needs of most of our clients. Our goal is to provide affordable estate planning services and provide you peace of mind regarding your intentions after you pass. We also know that your wishes may change over the years, and we allow for those changes to be made at a minimal cost to you.

Speak With An Attorney Today

Wondering “Do I need a will?” We’re here for you. If you would like to speak with an attorney today about having a will, power of attorney, or living will executed, please contact us by filling out the consultation request form. You can also call us at 704.749.7747. We look forward to helping you.