It’s a mistake to think that only people who are wealthy, elderly, sick or have children need to think about a last will and testament. Every adult has assets and a legacy to pass on—and few of us see our death coming. Now is the time to make those choices.
A legal last will attorney can help you form a plan that explains how your assets should be distributed after your death.
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The legal will attorneys at Wilson, Reives & Silverman can help you craft a strategy to reduce estate taxes and help ensure the financial security of your spouse, domestic partner and descendants. It all depends on your wishes.
What is the real purpose a last will and testament?
Your will and testament is a legally binding document that identifies who will inherit your property after you die. Recipients could include your spouse, domestic partner or common law partner, children, grandchildren, a charitable organization or a university or medical program. If you have children who are under the age of 18, your will may also include a provision naming a guardian to care for them.
While you may think your needs are simple, you’ll likely need a legal will attorney to determine whether or not they’re actually simple at all. For example, having children from a previous marriage or children to whom you’d like to give unequal distribution of your inheritance may not seem complicated, but it would be in this case.
What happens to your family, property and assets if you die without preparing a will?
If you die without preparing a last will and testament, North Carolina laws of intestate succession will govern your inheritance rights.
In most cases, your spouse and children will be first in line to inherit your property and funds. If you do not have a spouse or children, immediate relatives including parents, siblings and grandparents stand to inherit. In the case that you have no relatives who qualify, the state of North Carolina receives your property.
If you’re a parent of a minor, you die without a will, and the other parent is unable to provide care, the state will determine who will become the legal guardian of your child and the manager of any property he or she inherits.
In the simplest terms, a last will and testament ensures that your wishes will be granted. Without a will, you’re at the mercy of the state, and unable to turn back the hands of time.
Do you need a last will attorney to create a valid will?
You don’t need an attorney to help you write your will—but a last will attorney can guarantee you understand and follow all the legal requirements and regulations that make it a binding document. You want to create a will that can be executed without question after your death. A last will and testament attorney can ensure that your assets and belongings are divided according to your wishes, without the possibility of contest.
Other ways a legal will attorney can help you include:
Protect the future of your estate by connecting with an experienced legal will attorney at Wilson, Reives & Silverman.
What if you want to revise your will?
Keeping your will updated is incredibly important—but not always easy to remember as you continue with your life. However, life changes, and if you don’t keep your last will and testament updated, it might not reflect your true wishes in your present circumstances.
Wills can be revised by adding a codicil, which is an addition to the will. Revisions suit minor changes such as the removal of a beneficiary—disinheriting a spouse after a divorce, for example—or adding a new provision.
Larger changes, such as moving from a community property state to a common law property state, mean the laws governing your property have changed. In this case, revoking the will and drawing up a new one might be easier. Your legal last will attorney can help you do this quickly and definitively by putting an express statement in the new will that states that revocation of all prior wills.
We invite you to come in and consult with us about the best way to divide your estate and draft a legal document that meets all regulations and can be efficiently executed after your death. The legal will attorneys at Wilson, Reives & Silverman are here to provide you with trusted, effective legal counsel.