This FAQ is provided for general information only, and is not tailored to your specific facts and circumstances. This is not intended to provide legal advice or services, and does not create an attorney client relationship. For specific legal advice as to your situation, please contact our office at (919) 778-6707 to schedule a Consultation.
1. Do I need a will?
A will is how you divide up your property on your death. It allows you to determine who gets what. It can also make it easier on your heirs to clear up your financial matters after your death.
2. What happens if I die without a will?
Your property will go to your spouse, children, or other relatives as determined by North Carolina Intestate succession. In the event of no heirs, the estate eventually escheats to the State of North Carolina.
3. I want to set up an estate for my children and grandchildren. How do I do that?
You may be referring to a Trust. A Trust is a legal entity in which property is held to benefit another person. For example, a parent may set up a trust to support their grandchildren after their death. As part of our estate work, we also draft Trusts.
4. My life insurance goes into my estate, right?
Not necessarily. Life insurance and other similar benefits go to the beneficiary. If the beneficiary is your niece, then your estate will not receive those funds. If you name your estate the beneficiary, then yes, it would go into the estate.
5. What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document which gives another person to act in your place. Powers of Attorney typically list the specific rights that may be exercised, and can be limited. For example, some couples execute a Power of Attorney only as to a house they are purchasing.
6. What is a Healthcare Power of Attorney?
A Healthcare Power of Attorney is different from a standard Power of Attorney. This gives another person the ability to make healthcare choices on your behalf and access to your medical records.
7. What is a Living Will?
A Living Will directs a doctor or other medical provider on what to do should you become severely ill or incapacitated. For example, a Living Will can direct a doctor not to provide life saving measures.
8. I have a will but need to change a few things. Can you help?
Yes. In most situations, we would draft a new will for you to sign. In complicated situations, we may use a Codicil, which is an addendum used to change parts of a will.
9. Will I have to provide my own witnesses to sign my will?
No. We will schedule a time for you to come in and review your documents. Once they are ready for your signature, we provide the disinterested third party witnesses. You do not have to bring anyone with you.