Unfortunately, a sudden onset of illness or debilitating accident has the potential to cut any life short. If you pass away without a will, you may not be able to provide for your family’s future or control what happens to your businesses.
Everyone can benefit from proper estate planning, regardless of their age or health condition. If nothing else, planning your estate can help you gain a greater understanding of your finances and obtain peace of mind that your family will be cared for in the future.
The purpose of estate planning is to retain control over your assets after you pass away. This process can help ensure that your family or other nominated beneficiaries take possession of your property as you see fit.
The primary concern for most people is their personal assets. These may include a family home, vehicles, and bank accounts. A valid will helps ensure that appropriate beneficiaries receive a person’s property after their death.
A solid estate plan can also help manage a decedent’s debts. It is important to nominate a willing and competent executor to care for an estate, as this can ensure that debts are paid quickly and that the remaining value in the estate flows to the beneficiaries.
Ensuring that your wishes are met after death can be fairly straightforward. According to North Carolina General Statutes § 31-3.3, a written will must simply contain the signature of the testator. The testator should sign the will in the presence of two witnesses, who will then sign the document as well. Alternatively, a testator can bring the will to witnesses after signing it to attest that the signature is authentic.
This is all that is necessary to create an estate plan. There is no special language that a will must contain. However, an experienced attorney could provide valuable assistance in ensuring that a will contains all of your wishes. Additionally, a well-practiced lawyer has experience drafting wills in a way that leaves no doubt as to a person’s intentions. A person can contact legal counsel at any point in their life to help draft their will and begin planning their estate.
Estate planning is not something that only older people need to consider. Any person with assets or personal property should think about what will happen to that property if they pass away. This is especially important for individuals who are married or have children. A proper estate plan can help secure the financial future of one’s family members and other beneficiaries.
A knowledgeable attorney could provide clarity and insight throughout the estate planning process. Legal assistance is often useful in learning the purpose of an estate plan, identifying your assets and liabilities, and crafting testamentary documents. If you are wondering if it is a good time to start estate planning, give us a call today for more information.