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Wills Attorneys in Concord, North Carolina

Having an estate plan allows you to prepare for life’s uncertainties and set forth how your assets and final affairs should be managed when you’re gone. Wills remain vital estate planning tools that may be used to leave specific instructions regarding how to distribute or dispose of your assets, property, and money following your demise. In addition, wills can help you make adequate provisions for your surviving family members and help them avoid a lengthy probate proceeding after your death. 

If you need detailed guidance when drafting your will or estate plan, consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney is paramount. At Ferguson Hayes Hawkins, PLLC, we’re dedicated to offering experienced legal guidance and trusted advocacy to clients in estate planning and wills-related matters. Our reliable legal team can educate you about the benefits of having a will and help you draft a well-detailed, legal, and valid will. 

Ferguson Hayes Hawkins, PLLC, proudly serves clients across Concord, North Carolina, and the surrounding areas of Kannapolis, Salisbury, Stanly County, Rowan County, and Cabarrus County. 

Overview of Wills

A will or last will and testament can be described as a legal document where you (the testator) can leave specific instructions and provisions in advance about how you want to administer, dispose of, or distribute your assets, estate, and finances after you’re gone. Conversely, if you die without having a valid will in North Carolina (dying intestate), your estate will be administered with the provisions of North Carolina intestate succession statutes. 

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Types of Wills

The different types of wills that are recognized in North Carolina include: 

  • Attested Written Will - An attested written will is a will that is drafted – typed, and printed – by the estate planning attorney on behalf of the testator. Once drafted, the testator will properly sign the will. Also, it must be witnessed by two persons without any interest in the will. 

  • Handwritten Will - A handwritten or holographic will is a will that is manually and entirely written and signed in the testator’s handwriting. Generally, witnessing the handwritten wills isn’t always required. However, the court will need at least three persons to verify the testator’s handwriting during probate

  • Oral Will - An oral or nuncupative will is a will made verbally by the testator in the presence of two competent witnesses. The oral will is only valid if the testator is very ill or on their deathbed. A lawyer must help change the oral will into written form immediately. 

  • Joint Will - A joint will is a will created by two people, usually married couples. Joint wills are valid in North Carolina. However, it may be impossible to modify the provisions of a joint will after one of the testators dies. 

An experienced North Carolina wills attorney can educate you about the assets, contents, and instructions to provide in your will and help determine the type of will that is right for you. 

Why Having a Will Is Important

Establishing a comprehensive will can help you mitigate potential issues when you’re gone. In the event that you become unable or unavailable to express your opinions, your surviving family members can achieve relief and comfort from knowing your exact wishes.  

Furthermore, having a last will and testament is important because it can help you achieve the following: 

  • Protect your surviving family members, real property, life investments, assets, and interests. 

  • Leave instructions about how your estate should be administered. 

  • Name a personal representative to execute your estate. 

  • Name a legal guardian or caretaker for your minor children and pets. 

  • Make gifts and donations for charities and non-profits. 

  • Reduce estate and inheritance taxes. 

  • Mitigate disputes and conflicts between surviving family members during estate settlement. 

  • Prevents creditor issues and frivolous lawsuits. 

  • Prevent intestate succession and ensure that you don’t die without a valid will. 

Content of the Will

At Ferguson Hayes Hawkins, PLLC, our lawyers have devoted their careers to guiding clients through the complex procedures involved in drafting wills. Our trusted team can help identify your assets, draft your will, and ensure that the document is valid.  

Some important contents of a will include: 

  • details about the distribution of property and assets 

  • information about inheritors – beneficiaries and heirs 

  • names of personal representatives or executors 

  • details of any living trust 

  • guardianship wishes for minor children 

  • donation requests 

  • adequate financial planning to avoid inheritance tax liability. 

  • final arrangements – burial and funeral arrangements 

Commonly Inherited Assets

So what generally gets passed down via wills? Yours will of course be unique to you, but for some reference, the following covers some of the commonly inherited assets in a Texas will: 

  • personal belongings and household items 

  • motor vehicles 

  • land 

  • family heirloom 

  • money in a bank account 

  • trusts and shares 

  • life insurance payout or pension 

  • house or any other real estate property 

Wills Attorneys in Concord, North Carolina

If you need assistance when creating your will, contact us at Ferguson Hayes Hawkins, PLLC, today to schedule a simple consultation. Our highly skilled attorneys can offer you the personalized legal counsel you need when drawing up your will. We’re proud to serve clients across Concord, Kannapolis, Salisbury, Stanly County, Rowan County, and Cabarrus County, North Carolina.