The foundation of many people’s estate plans is their Last Will and Testament, commonly referred to as a Will. However, merely writing your wishes on a piece of paper is unlikely to satisfy the legal requirements. It is important to work with a skilled attorney to ensure that your document contains the correct information and can achieve your goals after you pass away.
A Wake Forest Wills lawyer can explain the purpose of these documents and help you craft one that is effective and enforceable. A valid Will can have a huge impact on the probate process and administration of your estate, so it is important to seek dedicated legal counsel when drafting your wishes.
If a Wake Forest resident dies without a Will, the state’s intestacy laws determine what to do with their assets and property. According to North Carolina General Statute § 29-14, this usually means that their estate will be split between their spouse and children. However, this is not always a desirable outcome and could lead to the forced sale of a family home or business.
The primary purpose of a Will is to override this legal default. A valid Will empowers a chosen executor to distribute assets according to the decedent’s wishes. A Will could also name heirs who would not otherwise be included under intestacy laws, or disinherit specific people and prevent them from receiving anything.
In short, a Will allows you to dictate how you want your estate to be distributed after you pass away. As such, it is crucial to work with a well-practiced attorney to ensure that your Will is legally enforceable in Wake Forest.
For the most part, any person over 18 years old with the mental capacity to understand what they are doing can make a Will. However, there are multiple requirements for creating a Will that is valid and legally enforceable under the law.
North Carolina General Statutes § 31-3.3 says that a Will must contain the testator’s signature. The testator must either sign the document personally or instruct a person to sign on their behalf. Furthermore, at least two witnesses must observe the testator sign the Will and affix their own signatures as well. An experienced local attorney can help you understand the requirements for making a Will and guide you through the correct procedures.
A Will is the most popular way to transfer property after death. While the language in the document may be simple and straightforward, state law does outline numerous provisions for a Will to be considered valid and authentic. To ensure that you correctly follow these guidelines, it is recommended that you work with a Wake Forest Wills lawyer when writing down your wishes for the future.
A skilled attorney will help you meet these legal requirements and offer useful advice on achieving your goals. Our lawyers are experienced in helping people nominate executors and draft Wills with clear instructions. Contact our firm today to discuss your options with a dedicated member of our team.