Two key events unite and equalize all humans. First, we all come into this world empty-handed. Second, we also depart the same way we came—empty-handed. So, where do all of the assets we gathered go? They all end up in other people’s hands. Thus, it’s necessary to prepare for a smooth transfer of all the wealth we gather during our lifetime.
Fortunately, you can make this generational transfer easy for those you love by writing a North Carolina last will and testament. This critical document ensures that your family survivors get what you appointed for them without any unnecessary struggles. It sets a clear roadmap for everyone so that each person can run in their lane.
Thus, writing a last will and testament form is like drawing a generational wealth transfer plan. Remember, planning always guarantees order and peace and vice versa. So, if you don’t want to plunge your family into anarchy and unending disputes, draft your last will today because you don’t know when you will breathe your last. Remember, your presence on earth won’t last forever. Thus, do yourself and your family a big favor by downloading our last will template to write your will today.
Download your fillable North Carolina Last Will and Testament Form in PDF format:
– Adobe PDF
Why You Need One
North Carolina laws don’t compel you to write a last will. However, its benefits for your family should compel you to write one as soon as yesterday. Drafting this crucial document has many benefits that your family can enjoy before and after your death. Below are compelling reasons to draft a last will.
First, it lets you set an orderly transition for your family. The last will saves your family potential family feuds between your children. For instance, writing your last will clearly demarcates each beneficiary’s inheritance. Therefore, there’s no room for guesswork where every child wants to inherit what they feel is best for them. Instead, they grow, knowing what you predetermined for them.
Second, writing a last will lets you choose your estate’s executor. This way, you choose a person you can trust with your family’s best interests. Thus, you lock out all outsiders the state would appoint to oversee your assets’ distribution. Such an appointee is critical, especially if you leave behind minors because you rest assured that their inheritance is in safe hands.
Third, writing a last demonstrates mature, responsible, and caring parenthood. You send a clear message to your family members that you care about their economic wellbeing. Thus, you plan for a smooth transition of what you appointed for them. It’s also an excellent tool for mentoring your children as they grow up because they have a role model. This document shows your target inheritors that you have them at your heart’s center. It also proves that they mean more to you than all the material wealth you amassed during your lifetime.
Can you see how much you would deny yourself and your family by failing to write a last will? It’s never too early to write a last will. However, it could be too late if you breathe your last before writing one. So, write your last will today.
What Happens When You Die Without a Last Will?
Although this document is critical, many people still die without writing one. Thus, they allow the state to invoke intestacy laws and apportion the deceased’s assets. According to North Carolina laws, all real and personal property shares pass to the deceased’s surviving spouses. However, it depends on whether the decedent left children and parents. Distributing the deceased’s personal assets also depends on their value.
In cases where the dead had no surviving children, spouse, or parents, their closest surviving relatives share the estate. Some of these relatives are siblings, grandparents, aunties, and uncles.
Which Assets Are Exempted?
The law exempts some assets from distribution through the last will. For instance, all assets owned jointly, life insurance policies, and retirement benefits are exempted. It’s also worth noting that all surviving spouses are automatically entitled to a certain level of the decedent’s assets, even if they excluded them from their last will. They can access them if they claim them within a stipulated period.
Basic Legal Requirements
All last wills must meet the following legal requirements stipulated in Chapter 31 of North Carolina General Assembly:
- The testator should be an adult 18 years and over;
- The testator must be sane and draft it voluntarily;
- The drafter should sign the will or appoint a trusted person to do it for them in their conscious presence, name, and at their direction;
- At least two competent witnesses should sign the last will in the testator’s conscious presence. These persons must have seen the testator signing it or acknowledging its signature. However, these witnesses can sign it away from each other;
- The last will can either be written or oral;
- The testator can appoint any person they wish to inherit their assets.
Other Recognized Wills
North Carolina laws recognize other forms of last will. For instance, they accept handwritten and oral wills. However, they must meet the state’s restrictions and criteria.
Amending the Last Will
The law allows you to amend your last will. You can do it by writing another new will or through a codicil, an amendment that follows all the legal procedures of writing a last will.
Revoking a Last Will
You can also revoke your last will whenever you wish, and for any reason you deem fit. The law lets you do it by tearing, canceling, destroying, or burning the last will. The law allows you to do it yourself or appoint a trusted person to do it for you and in your presence.
You can also revoke it by writing a subsequent will or a codicil. Revoking an oral will can be effected via a subsequent written last will or via a codicil.
That’s all you should know about a North Carolina last will and testament. The choice is yours to download our template and write yours today.
Other North Carolina Forms By Type
Other Last Will and Testament Forms By State
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