The last thing you want to do is leave your family without a will in place when the worst happens. They are already going through a difficult enough time, and having to go through additional legal headaches is guaranteed to make their lives harder. Much can be accomplished through a legal document, and your family will appreciate that you took the time and made the investment.
However, you cannot spare effort on making your will. A DIY approach will get DIY results. For professional legal help with your will, contact Davis Curry Law in Hendersonville, NC. We work closely with you to help you draft a will that reflects your priorities.
The Benefits of Having a Will
There is no one part of your estate plan that is the most crucial, but a will is extremely important. Your will is your own way of speaking when you are no longer here to make your wishes known. You have worked hard to accumulate property, and you also want to take care of your family. The will is the legal document that helps you accomplish your goal of ensuring that your heirs can seamlessly inherit your property.
A will is a legally binding document that will govern the disposition of your property when you pass away between your heirs and any charities. If you have minor children, your will would also include instructions for who is to be their guardian and how they are to be raised.
The main benefit of a will is that it provides certainty after you pass away and keeps your family from having to go through a difficult legal process.
If you do not have a will, you lose all control over who gets your assets and who makes decisions about your estate. You would surrender all control to the court and how it applies North Carolina law. That is the last thing that you want after you have worked your entire lifetime to take care of your family. Your loved ones would need to spend far more on legal fees that could have been avoided by making an investment now.
The Different Types of Wills
Here are some types of wills that you can consider as part of your estate plan:
- Simple wills are the most common type of will — they appoint an executor for your estate and specify how your property is to be distributed
- Testamentary trusts will place some of your property in a trust when you die, meaning that your heirs will not immediately inherit the property without any restrictions. There will be conditions on the inheritance.
- A joint will is made by two spouses or partners who want the other to get the assets after one passes away. It is not changeable when one of the testators dies.
- A living will sets forth your instructions for your healthcare, naming someone who can make healthcare decisions and setting forth your wishes for end-of-life care. You may choose to leave orders not to resuscitate if you are incapacitated.
The Steps to Making a Will
A will is not as simple as choosing an option and filling in the blanks. You need customized legal advice about which option works best for you and the language that fits your own personal situation. Here is some of what goes into making a will:
- Making a list of all your property (your assets that do not have beneficiary designations) and beneficiaries
- Decide which assets you will include in your will
- Choose a trusted person who would act as the executor of your estate
- Meeting with an attorney to discuss your legal options
- Date and sign your will
- Have your will witnessed by two people
In order to have a valid will, it needs to meet several requirements. Besides being signed and witnessed, you must also:
- Be of sound mind
- Make the will of your own volition (not be under someone else’s undue influence)
- Have testamentary intent when making the will
FAQs About Wills
What does the term probate mean in connection with my will?
Probate is the process where your estate is administered and the title of the property passes to the heirs.
Are there any alternatives to a will?
You could create a trust for your property, although that would not include instructions about how your minor children are to be raised.
Is there any property that is transferred outside a will?
There are some accounts that allow you to transfer on death by designating a beneficiary. These accounts would include life insurance and investment accounts.
How Davis Curry Law Can Help You
When you are making or revising your will, you want an attorney that you can trust to both listen to you and get things done right. A will could involve thinking about difficult subject matters. It is hard enough dealing with your own mortality without even giving consideration to who gets what. Given that family relations can be jeopardized if there are any problems in the will process, you must have an attorney who understands your needs and how to use this crucial document to meet them.
Attorney Ethan Trice will provide you with the client service that you need during the will-making process by learning what is important to you and discussing potential options. Your will should not be a one-size-fits-all document. It should be the product of consultations between you and an attorney who gets to know you. That is exactly what we do at Davis Curry Law.
Contact a Hendersonville, NC Wills Attorney Today
The first step towards getting your estate plan and will in place is contacting an experienced attorney today. There is a time when it is too late to have this discussion. Although your legacy and what happens after you are gone may not be something that you want to talk about, it is crucial to address it today.