There are two primary reasons I recommend a Will. First, if you have minor children, a Will provides direction as to the care of those children after your death. Second, with a Will, a person has control over how and to whom his or her property shall be distributed after death.
Anyone can create their own valid Will. Most lawyers are hesitant to tell you this. The reason to consider having a lawyer assist with drafting your Will and other Estate Planning documents is that in order to carry out the wishes of an individual, certain legal language recognized by North Carolina courts is required. A lawyer familiar with the Estate Planning laws of North Carolina will help ensure the following items are handled consistent with your objectives:
The care of your children — A Will contains provisions naming Guardians who will care for your children in the event you (and your Spouse) should pass away.
The care of your assets — A Will directs the disposition of certain assets (Real and Personal Property) in the event you pass away. Your choices will probably differ from the state’s ‘default’ disposition of those assets should you pass without a Will.
Your healthcare decisions — An effective Estate Plan includes a Healthcare Power of Attorney, which names individual(s) of your choosing, who will be entitled to assist in making healthcare decisions for you in the event you cannot make those decisions on your own.
Your financial decisions — An effective Estate Plan includes a Financial Power of Attorney, which names individual(s) of your choosing, who will be entitled to assist in the handling of finances in your name, should you be alive but unable to handle those affairs on your own.