Skip this step for now
Creating a Last Will and Testament in North Carolina is Long Overdue
Discussions about creating last will and testaments hardly crop up in our circles or families, and even when they do, most of us find the easiest ways of evading the talk. While the people who bring up such topics care about our best intentions (at least some of them do), we often think of creating a last will as this thing that we can do in 5 years or some months. Unfortunately, you may not be lucky to get there, and if you leave minor children behind, they might suffer and go through life wondering why you did not do something. Your family members may end up locking heads with each other.
Thinking about these possibilities, and the struggles we’ve seen others go through, don’t you think that you should stop evading the process? If you are worried about the cost of hiring an estate planning lawyer, we have better news – all you need to do is to download a free North Carolina last will and testament form, fill it out, sign it, have witnesses sign it, and relax.
The difference between last wills and living wills
In contrast to the living will, the last will is only executable upon your passing. On the other hand, the living will is executable while you are alive but incapacitated. Many times, the living will refers to the advance health care directive. It highlights whether you wish to be hooked to a ventilator for months when your brain or lungs fail, and it could also highlight your directives regarding what happens to your body. Once you pass on, the living will loses its powers, and the last will takes over.
What do you need the last will for?
Even though you are not required by law to fill out a free last will and testament in North Carolina, we recommend that you do so to control the distribution of your assets in your absence. This is a crucial thing because, without a last will, the state invokes the intestacy laws which hardly coincide with your wishes. So, creating a last will, even if you have to change it severally, is safer than not having a will.
- Properties exempted from distribution include:
- Joint tenancy properties with survivorship rights
- Proceeds from your life insurance policy
You should know that even if you leave out your spouse from the will, they will still be entitled to a part of the estate if they make a claim within a specific period.
A last will and testament is an invaluable tool that lets you appoint a personal representative or an executor. Your personal representative will be responsible for making sure your wishes are respected and implemented the way you wanted. The person you appoint will file the will with the court-supervised process of distributing assets for the deceased, the probate court, where the court will appoint them the executor of your estate (after they apply for the Letters Testamentary). In North Carolina, the probate process is avoidable through the use of the Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property of Decedent form.
Creation of trusts using a will
The state accepts the use of the will as an instrument for creating testamentary trusts. You could create a testamentary trust for your child. However, the most significant kind of testamentary trust you could create is the pet trust. The pet trust ensures that the animal is well cared for in your absence. The pet trust terminates upon the death of the named animal.
What do you need to do for the validity of your will?
- The testator (creator of the will) should be 18 years or older.
- You should be of sound mind and acting on your own volition.
- You must sign the will or show an intention of signing the will by asking someone else to sign the will as per your directions and in your presence.
- You must have 2 or more witnesses to sign the last will. Witnesses can only sign the will after the testator sign it to affirm that the testator actually signed the will.
- You should name the beneficiaries to your estate. Note that when using a holographic or a nuncupative will, a beneficiary could be a witness.
- The will should be in writing. However, then the state accepts the nuncupative/ oral and the holographic/ handwritten wills in special conditions.
Here is what happens if you die without a will – the state invokes the intestacy laws and effects the distribution of your assets in the following ways:
The decedent’s shares of personal and real properties go to the surviving spouse unless they leave behind kids or a spouse. And the distribution of personal property will depend on the value.
In the absence of kids, a spouse or parents, your estate goes to your siblings, grandparents, uncles, and aunts.
Are you looking for a last will in Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville, Durham or any other city of North Carolina? End your search with our free last will and testament forms downloadable online.