Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. Having a will can help your loved ones during this difficult time by distributing your property to the people or charities you choose.
A will, or last will and testament, is a document that controls and directs the disposition of property at death.
What Happens When Someone Dies?
If a person dies leaving a will (testate), they generally have appointed a specific person to be the Executor of the estate. If a person does not have a will, the court will appoint an Administrator, which is usually the next of kin of the deceased.
If a person does not have a valid will at their time of death (dies intestate), their property will be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act, which is a formula established by law to determine how your property is divided.
Learn more about what happens if someone does not have a valid will or estate planning in place.
Advance Directive (Living Will) For A Natural Death
A will is a document that controls and directs the disposition of property at death.
An Advance Directive, or Living Will, is a directive that gives instructions to your health care providers to withhold or withdraw life-prolonging measures in certain situations. The Living Will states what choices you would have made for yourself if you were able to communicate.
Living Wills are intended to be valid in any jurisdiction in which it is presented, but places outside North Carolina may impose requirements that this form does not meet.
The Importance of an Experienced NC Will Lawyer
One of the most important things you can do for your loved ones is to have a carefully drafted will. Drafting a will requires professional judgment that can only be obtained by years of training, experience, and study. Only a practicing lawyer can avoid the innumerable pitfalls and advise the course best suited for each situation.
Example: A will drafted in a state other than North Carolina may not be valid within North Carolina. A will can be changed or added to by the testator by drafting a new will or by adding a codicil to the current will. A codicil is simply an addition or amendment to an existing will and executed with the same formalities as a will.
Schedule a Consultation with our Wills & Estate Attorneys
Cary will and estate attorneys Ann-Margaret Alexander and Andrea Nyren Doyle each have 25+ years of experience helping individuals prepare and execute wills and living wills.
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