Although it is not always something you want to think about, estate planning is an important thing to take care of for your peace of mind and for the peace of mind of those that will have to take care of the things you leave behind. One of the most important pieces of estate planning is a will. A will sets out your wishes for how you would like your assets including you home, cars, money, and business interests, distributed upon your death. If you do not have a will then your assets upon your death will have to pass through the requirements set out in North Carolina statutes. These requirements, unless you have a will, must be followed regardless of whether you would have wanted those individuals to receive anything at all. This makes it particularly important for you to have a will to ensure that your wishes are followed.
Once you realize that you need to write out a will, you may be wondering if there are any special requirements that make the will valid or if you can just write out a will on a piece of paper. You cannot typically just write out a will on a piece of paper and expect it to hold up upon your death. Wills in North Carolina must have two witnesses and in order to be self-proving, be notarized. A will that does not have two witnesses would not be entertained by the court and your estate would have to be distributed according to statute. A will that is not notarized may be considered valid however the process to have it “proved” without notarization can be very difficult and lengthy, placing a burden on your administrator.
Because of these requirements, it is particularly helpful to hire an attorney that can assist you in drafting and executing your will. Attorneys can advise you on the best ways to divide up your assets in order to fulfill your wishes and they will also provide the notary and witnesses required to make the will valid. King Law can assist you in preparing your will so that you and those who will be left after you pass can have peace of mind.