While contemplating your own passing can be difficult, it is essential to plan for your family after you are gone. By creating and executing a will, you ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Without one, your loved ones could face a complicated legal battle in probate court.
A Kernersville wills lawyer could help you prepare a will that meets your needs and those of your family. With years of experience in will drafting and estate planning, our firm’s capable attorneys could work to preserve even the most complicated estates for the benefit of those you love.
A will is a valid legal document directing how a person’s assets, including property, investments, and retirement income, will be distributed after they are deceased. If a person passes without a will, their surviving spouse or other family members may need to request that a judge appoint an administrator for the deceased’s estate. If that happens, the decedent’s assets could be distributed by someone unfamiliar with their wishes, resulting in further hurt and grief for the deceased’s family.
With proper planning and guidance from an experienced wills attorney, a will can provide numerous benefits for a deceased’s family. Some of these include:
Accomplishing these goals in advance of one’s passing can also help to ensure that a lengthy probate court process does not delay the inheritance for the deceased’s loved ones.
Under the General Statutes of North Carolina §31-1, any mentally competent person over age 18 may create a will. While most wills are in writing, state law does permit oral or ‘noncupative’ wills when a person is extremely ill or facing imminent death. For written wills, two people must be present as witnesses when the will is executed and must sign it in the presence of a notary and the decedent (otherwise known as “owner” or “author” of the will).
Unless a will strictly complies with these legal requirements, it may be deemed invalid, and the deceased’s estate would be distributed according to state law (whether or not it is consistent with the will). It is best to consult a knowledgeable lawyer in Kernersville for the proper creation and execution of a will.
A Living Will is not actually a will but rather a legal document that instructs how a person wishes to achieve their death. Also referred to as a medical, healthcare, or advance care directive, a Living Will may include instructions regarding life support, artificial nutrition and hydration, end-of-life pain management. It may also direct what is to be done with the deceased’s body after their passing.
A significant advantage of a Living Will is the ability to designate which family member or trusted friend will direct the medical care for a person facing death. Because the Living Will provides clear instructions about a person’s wishes, their family is spared the pain of making tough decisions about their loved one’s end-of-life care. A compassionate wills lawyer could meet with the family and discuss their specific goals and concerns and how to achieve them.
Whether your estate is complex or straightforward, a will can be an invaluable tool to ensure that the assets you worked hard for throughout your life are preserved for your family. By detailing your wishes in a legal document, you can provide for your loved ones in the manner you choose.
A skilled Kernersville wills lawyer at Apple Payne Law will take the time to understand your situation and explain the process of preparing and executing a legally valid will. To learn more about how a will can help you achieve your estate planning goals, call our firm today.
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Apple Payne Law, PLLC