Do I really need a will? This is a very common question and the answer really depends on your life stage and situation. A younger, single person with minimal assets is less likely to need a will than a married person with a secure career, children, and considerable assets. A will simply ensures that your assets are distributed as you desire. If you have minor children, a will may also determine who will take guardianship of them in the event of your death.
A will is one of the most important legal documents you can create during your lifetime. In North Carolina, if you die without a will, you are said to have died “intestate.” Dying intestate means that your assets are distributed by North Carolina intestate succession laws. This usually means that your assets will go to your closest relatives, whether you want them to or not. Not only may your assets be distributed in a way you do not desire, this may also lead to potential and unnecessary lawsuits amongst your successors.
To ensure that your assets are distributed as you wish, and that your loved ones are cared for after you pass, a will is essential. To be valid, a will must meet the legal requirements set for by North Carolina law. A will executed in North Carolina will also be valid in most other states, as long as the document is a valid will under that state’s laws.
In North Carolina, any person at least eighteen (18) years old, or a lawfully married minor, may make a will as long as they are competent and of sound mind. The will must be in writing and signed by the testator and two witnesses. If the testator is unable to sign the will, he or she may direct another person to sign on his or her behalf. Additionally, the two witnesses must sign in the testator’s presence.
In North Carolina, it is recommended that a witness be a disinterested party. A disinterested party is one who does not inherit under the will. Having disinterested witnesses prevents the will from being challenged by other parties. As long as a will is self-proven in a signed affidavit to a notary, the witnesses will not have to testify in court as to the will’s authenticity. The will is said to be self-proven and thus authentic.
If you believe you need a will and want to speak to an estate planning attorney in Huntersville NC, or a wills lawyer in Huntersville NC, please contact Adkins Law. Adkins Law is located in Huntersville and primarily serves Huntersville Cornelius, Davidson, Charlotte, Denver, Mecklenburg County, Iredell County, Gaston County, Cabarrus County, and the Lake Norman area.
Contact Adkins Law to schedule a free estate planning consultation with a wills lawyer.