Wills Lawyers in Charlotte, Ensuring Your Wishes Are Known Regardless of Circumstances
Far too many estates end up in probate court due to unexpected events or a lack of planning. This can result in families being at odds over what happens to a loved one’s assets, and in some cases, it could result in outcomes that a deceased individual would’ve never agreed to in life. Estate administration becomes far more difficult than necessary when someone doesn’t leave a will behind. Fortunately, a wills lawyer in Charlotte can help you avoid such unfortunate consequences.
At Harman Law, we can meet all your basic estate plan needs in order to avoid a complicated probate process. Whether you have an existing will that needs updating or has never created such a document, our legal team is ready to help you with the necessary experience to get the job done. If you’re looking to create a legally enforceable will that can protect your assets and let your wishes be known now and in the future, there’s no excuse for procrastination. Contact our law firm to get started today.
How Important Is a Will to Your Estate Plan?
In most cases, a will is the most important part of an estate plan. As long as the appropriate legal requirements are met, this document will dictate what happens to your assets, who will serve as executor of your estate, who will get guardianship of pets or children, and answer a variety of other important legal questions. It’s scary to think about dying, but a will isn’t just something for elderly individuals to consider. This document isn’t about anticipating death; it’s about being prepared for any contingency.
When drafting your will, it’s important to remember that certain legal requirements must be met. This is why so many people opt to seek legal counsel when creating the document. Simple missteps can invalidate a last will and testament, and even in cases where everything is done “by the book,” family members may still have to prove its validity if you don’t undertake certain procedural steps. Legally enforceable wills are likely the most important aspect of estate plans, so don’t risk your assets and property by foregoing legal advice.
Is a Handwritten Will Enforceable in North Carolina?
One of the most common estate planning questions is whether a handwritten will is enforceable under the law. This question often arises when someone dies having only written out their wishes by hand on a piece of paper. While laws vary by state, a handwritten will is perfectly acceptable in North Carolina. Such a document is known as a holographic will and can be done without the help of an attorney. However, going this route presents certain challenges. For instance, the following three requirements must be met:
- The document must be only in the handwriting of the person making the will (i.e., the “testator”)
- The document must be signed by the testator
- The document must be kept in a safe place (e.g., among the testator’s effects, in safety deposit box, etc.)
However, even meeting these three requirements does not mean a court will see the will as valid. That’s why it’s often advisable to go through an estate planning attorney. If you create a holographic will, three witnesses will need to come into court to testify that it’s truly in your handwriting. Another witness will have to testify as to where the document was found. If there’s any dispute over the will, an experienced lawyer for other parties may be able to easily have it thrown out in court.
For this and other reasons, working with a wills attorney in Charlotte is likely in your best interest. Doing so could be a one-time endeavor that pays dividends now and well into the future.
What Happens if You Die Without a Will in North Carolina?
Dying without a will in North Carolina can create serious issues for your children, beneficiaries, and other interested parties. While oral wills do fall within the confines of the law in our state, this is only true in limited circumstances. These nuncupative wills will only hold up if they are made when imminent peril or death are occurring, and only when multiple individuals witnessed the declaration. Dying with no will whatsoever means that the person died intestate and their properties will be divided based on state law. Courts will also decide on other important issues in these situations.
Unfortunately, a judge cannot consider what you may have wanted when making probate decisions. Family law will typically play a significant role in this process since spouses and close relations will all have a legitimate claim to your property. Many of our clients come to us because they don’t want state law or the courts to dictate what happens with their property when they die. At Harman Law, you can sit down for a confidential consultation to go over the details of your wishes. During this consult, we can make sure you understand the law and create a will that’s enforceable under the law.
Contact Our Wills Attorneys in Charlotte Today
Many people never think about what happens to their money, property, or even retirement benefits once they’ve left this world. To be fair, no one really enjoys thinking about death in general. Unfortunately, it will eventually visit us all — and when it does, having a will in place is the only way to ensure your beneficiaries will acquire what you want them to receive. Without one, your property will be divided with very little input from your family — and this it typically only after creditors are reimbursed.
At Harman Law, we think it’s essential that our clients receive sound legal advice. That’s why our wills attorneys in Charlotte are ready to help with all your estate plan needs. Avoiding the probate process is reason enough to take planning your estate seriously, but there are many other benefits to handling these issues now. You worked hard for everything you own and to build the life that you have, so it shouldn’t be contingent on legislators and judges to make decisions for you. Contact us today by calling (704) 286-0947. We can simplify the wills process for you so you can get get it done quickly and get back to living.