Making a Last Will and Testament is the cornerstone of estate planning—it’s one of the most important legal decisions you can make in your lifetime. Without a will, North Carolina law will determine how your property and assets are distributed after your passing. But by drafting a will, you’re in control of the division of your estate.
In this issue, the estate planning lawyers with Weaver, Bennett & Bland will give you the basic requirements for a valid will in North Carolina. Keep in mind, though, that a will is a legally binding document that should be written and reviewed with the help of an estate planning lawyer.
What if I die without a will in North Carolina?
The legal term for passing without a will is “intestate.” If you pass away intestate, North Carolina law will determine the distribution of your estate. Many people assume that their assets will automatically pass to those they love, but that’s not necessarily true. In fact, North Carolina uses a complicated formula that strictly dictates what happens if you pass away without a will. In short, you lose all control in determining how you want your property or assets distributed.
Does my will need to be notarized in North Carolina?
Not necessarily, although it’s best practice to do so. Notarization simply means a licensed notary made sure the person signing a document was indeed who they claimed to be, and that everything stated above the notary’s signature is true and correct. A notarized will ensures that there’s an official and permanent record of who signed your will.
Who can witness a will being signed in North Carolina?
To be valid, your will must be witnessed by two individuals. This means you need to sign your will in front of these two witnesses, and they need to sign your will as witnesses in front of you. Generally, anyone can be a witness to your will; however, it’s best practice to use witnesses who have no interest or claim to your assets under the will.
For a will attorney in Charlotte, NC, call Weaver, Bennett & Bland.
Completing a will or estate plan without the expertise of a qualified estate attorney can easily result in documents that are invalid – which can lead to a host of unintended consequences for your heirs.
To make sure things are done the right way – and how you wish – make sure that a qualified estate planning attorney is guiding you.