Drafting a will in Statesville, NC is not only for the infirm or elderly. It is an important part of planning for your future at any point in your life. Even if you already have a will, major life changes like getting married or having a child can result in a need to alter your will. These documents allow you to explicitly state whom you would like to receive your property in the event of your death. If you do not have a will, your property distribution is entirely up to North Carolina law. Ensuring your intended beneficiaries receive your property should not be left to chance, so drafting a will is an important step to take.
Though it is entirely possible to create your own will without the assistance of a lawyer, it can be beneficial to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney. There are online resources that can help you draft a will, but they do not typically provide in-depth legal assistance like you would receive from a skilled attorney. A well-established law firm like Lassiter & Lassiter can assist you with drafting a will that is going to stand up to being contested, but we can also help you determine if you would benefit from other estate planning services like trusts. With over five decades of service to the Statesville community, we are ready to help you through any complexities that may arise during your will creation.
A will is also known as a last will and testament. It is a legal document that allows you to control how your property is handled after your death and can be created by anyone over the age of 18 with a sound mental capacity. A will gives you the power to determine how your property should be distributed and to whom. It can also stipulate guardianship for your children as well as an executor to administer the will.
All property that is listed in a will remains the sole property of the testator, or will creator, until their death. This means the beneficiaries have no claim to the property until the will has been executed. Until such a time when the testator no longer has the testamentary capacity to do so, they can alter the will at any time and for any reason. Three types of wills exist in North Carolina:
There are many benefits to creating a will, such as:
Legally speaking, you can handle most estate planning on your own. Unfortunately, the laws surrounding wills, trusts, and other estate planning preparation can be incredibly complex. Failing to follow the rules and regulations of each document can prevent it from being legally binding and allow room for them to be contested. Fighting a contested will can be a long, expensive process that would be much easier for your loved ones to avoid.
As long as you are of sound mind to do so, you are legally able to change your will at any time. It is recommended that you change your will in the event of any major life changes, including marriage, divorce, having a child, or disowning someone in your current will. Speaking with an experienced attorney can ensure the change cannot be contested after your death.
Dying without a will or other form of a documented plan for your estate can result in your property being handed over to the state. You would be declared to have died “intestate,” and the state then manages the probate process and distributes your assets according to current North Carolina default inheritance laws.
Though there is much debate on who should have a will. An argument can be made that everyone should have a will to speed up and simplify the distribution of their property after their death. However, some people need to have a will in place. If you are married, have children, or have a positive net worth, your loved ones can benefit from you having a will.
The skilled team at Lassiter & Lassiter is committed to creating wills that meet our client’s needs. Because we have been serving the Statesville community since 1970, we are experts in all North Carolina estate planning laws. We are dedicated to using this accumulation of knowledge to support our clients and ensure your estate is legally prepared in the event of your death. It is never too early. Contact us today so that we can discuss creating or updating a will, as well as any other estate planning services that would be beneficial for you and your family.
Call our office at 704-873-2295 or email us today.
Attorney Mike Lassiter grew up in Statesville, makes his living serving the people of Statesville and published a book capturing the changing landscape of small town life across North Carolina and Iredell County. His keen sense of history, dedication to the area and 30 years of legal experience make him an ideal attorney for your legal needs.
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