7 Essential Tips for Preparing Your Will in North Carolina

Not only the elderly need a will. Everyone needs to have one prepared, just in case. You are not guaranteed tomorrow; if something happens, it’s good to have peace of mind that your affairs are in order. Here are seven essential tips for preparing your will in North Carolina by Cotton Law Firm. Located in Fayetteville, NC, our team is highly experienced in helping residents draft their wills and ensure they are legally binding.

1. Make a List of Your Assets and Liabilities

You first have to take inventory of everything that has value to you. This includes your house, land, vehicles, stocks, antiques, etc. If you own a business, you will have to include those assets and the business itself. Write it all down so that when it’s time to designate each item to a beneficiary, you won’t miss anything.

2. Choose an Executor and Alternate Executor

If you pass away or become incapacitated, you will need to ensure you have someone you trust in charge of your estate. Ideally, you should choose someone reliable and organized. It’s recommended to write down an alternative if something happens to the original executor. You may also choose a lawyer to be the executor of your will.

3.  Decide Who Will Inherit Your Property and Assets

Now you can determine who will inherit what assets. You may also donate items or money to charities you believe in. This includes leaving your clothes and dishes to a charity that helps those in need or leaving your antique collection to a local antique shop.

4. Name a Guardian for Your Children if They Are Minors

If your children are under 18 years old, it’s important that you name a guardian for them to avoid foster care. Have a conversation with the guardian you have in mind beforehand to make sure they agree to the responsibility.

5. Select an Attorney to Help You Prepare Your Will

Many things are missed when people write their own wills – and it’s an emotional and financial disaster after they pass away. To ensure the document is legal and correct, work with an attorney that has experience drafting wills. Learn more about estate planning with Cotton Law Firm here

6. Review and Update Your Will Regularly

As the year’s pass, your will may become outdated. You can move, sell off some assets, buy new assets, create new relationships, or end them. It’s important to check in with your will every few years to ensure its accuracy.

7. Store Your Will in a Safe Place

Keep your will in a safe place, such as a fireproof safe or safety deposit box. Let at least one person, preferably your executor, know where it is so that if you pass away, someone will know where to find it.

If you pass away without a will, your assets will become the state’s property or be put into probate court, which is much more difficult to deal with. For peace of mind, write a clear will so that it’s easier for the executor and your family to navigate. Contact us for assistance drafting a legal will in North Carolina today.