Writing a last will and testament may seem daunting. You want to make sure that your will has legal standing and that the courts recognize it as your last wishes. You also want to make sure that family or other loved ones recognize the validity of your wishes and don’t create strife over your desires. You’ll probably be glad to know that writing your will does not have to be complicated or take a long time. Using this easy guide, you can even write your will in under an hour. Let’s look at how to write a free Last Will and Testament in NC.
First off, you must be of sound mind and 18 years or older to write your will. You may pick one of 3 types of wills and follow the law for that type of will. The types of wills you may choose from include:
- Attested Written Will
A Holographic Will
A holographic will is often written entirely in your handwriting. If all of the words appear on a paper in your handwriting, or you signed the will, or wrote your name in, you have a valid will. Witnesses are not necessary for this type of will to be valid. This type of will is valid if found in one of these places after your death:
- Your valuable papers or effects
- A safe-deposit box
- Another safe place where you deposited it
- Under your authority
- In the possession or custody of someone you left it with for safekeeping
- Some firm or corporation where you deposited it for safekeeping
A Nuncupative Will
A nuncupative will is a spoken will. You can make a nuncupative will if you are in your last sickness or imminent death peril and do not survive. Nuncupative means that you speak your last will and testament. You don’t have to write anything down for this type of will.
However, you must declare that your words are your last will and testament. Two competent witnesses must both be present at the same time to bear witness to your words. You must ask them specifically to listen and bear witness to your last will and testament. They also must both agree. You have successfully written your last will and testament in NC if you adhere to these guidelines,
An Attested Written Will
The most common type of will for those who have assets to pass on is an attested written will. This type of legal document often includes complex language and even codicils. However, writing this type of will is possible without an attorney. A common problem you may run into if you use a will template you find online is using language you do not understand.
You can write an attested written will using common language by writing your wishes, signing your will, and letting 2 witnesses attest. You must actually sign the will (or have someone else in your presence and at your direction sign your name for you).
You signify to the attesting witnesses that the will is yours by signing it in their presence. Or, you can also acknowledge that you signed the will before. The attesting witnesses must sign the will in your presence but need not sign in the presence of each other.
Just Write Your Will
No matter which type of will you choose to write, make sure that you give accurate information. For example, if your will names your niece to inherit your retirement account, but names your wife as the beneficiary on the actual account, there could be trouble.
It’s important to have a will if your entire net worth is more than $20,000 for a single person or $30,000 for a couple. If you don’t have a will, your estate will go to heirs determined by Intestate Law. Intestate Law is a series of statutes about who will inherit your estate and in what amounts.
Intestate law may give half of your estate of a child and half to a spouse. Sometimes, intestate law will give half an estate to one of your parents and a half to your spouse. Because Intestate law may not act as you would wish, it is crucial to go ahead and write your will.
If you have minor children, it is of utmost importance that you name a guardian for them. The court looks at your will to determine placement for children. Without a will, children may not end up with someone you would trust or even like.
We Can Help
If you’re stuck trying to write your will and unsure how to proceed, let us help. At Hogan, Edwards, and Blue, we use our legal experience to help you navigate the legal processes in North Carolina. We understand that you want to have your wishes carried out when it comes to your children and your estate. Working with us to draw up your last will and testament in NC can help your family understand what your last wishes are and honor them. Contact us today and find out how we can help you leave a legacy.