You’ve probably thought about making a will before. But you haven’t gotten around to doing it yet.
We get it. It always seems like there is something more important to do. But there’s nothing more important than making sure your affairs are in order, should the worst happen.
Benefits of a Will
If you don’t have a will, you won’t have a say in how your property is divided when you pass. Your property will be divided according to NC “intestate” law. Having a will in place allows you to:
1. Leave all or part of your real and personal property to the people you want.
2. Leave all or part of your real and personal property to your favorite charity.
3. Choose someone you trust to take care of your children.
4. Choose someone you trust to manage any property you leave for your children.
5. Choose someone you trust to be your executor- the person who makes sure your wishes are carried out.
Requirements for a Will in NC
In North Carolina, as long as you are 18 years or older and of “sound mind,” you can create a will. You must sign the will in front of two witnesses.
If you are unable to sign it yourself, you’ll need to direct someone to sign it in front of the witnesses.
Anyone can witness a will as long as they are 18 years or older and of “sound mind.” But it’s best to use witnesses who do not have a beneficiary interest. Meaning, they do not stand to inherit anything under your will.
Lastly, you do not need to have your signature or the witnesses’ signatures notarized. But it’s best to use a notary. Using a notary and including certain statutory language will make the will self-proving. A self-proving will saves time and money. Without a self-proving will, the probate court will have to track down your witnesses to verify their signatures.
Who Can Draft a Will?
While it’s possible to draft your own will, it’s best to have an attorney draft it for you. Wills can be complex and hard to get right, especially if you have children.