While it’s not something we like to think about, everyone needs an estate plan.
In North Carolina, if you do not have a Last Will and Testament, then the distribution of your assets will be determined by state law.
Contrary to popular belief, a spouse does not automatically inherit all of the deceased spouse’s property. For example, under North Carolina law, if you have no children but at least one of your parents is still living at the time of your death, your parent or parents could be entitled to one half of your real property interests. Other factors like when the property was acquired and how it is titled can also affect how your estate is distributed under the law.
Even if you think that you don’t own much, you should be the one to decide who gets your property. By making these decisions now, you will be helping your loved ones avoid potential conflicts and difficult decisions.
In addition to a Last Will and Testament, a complete estate plan needs to include Advance Directives, such as a Durable Power of Attorney, a Health Care Power of Attorney and a Declaration of Desire for Natural Death – also known as a Living Will.
A Durable Power of Attorney appoints an agent to handle your financial affairs in the event you cannot handle yourself because of mental capacity. A Health Care Power of Attorney appoints an agent to make health care decisions for you if you become unable to make the decisions yourself. A Declaration of Desire for Natural Death expresses your desire that extraordinary treatment measures and/or artificial nutrition and hydration not be used to keep you alive if you are in a terminal and incurable condition or a persistent vegetative state.
The cost to execute these documents for your specific needs is less than you might expect, and the costs are insignificant when compared to the financial losses and mental anguish that can occur without a proper estate plan.
Your family deserves the security and comfort of knowing you prepared for the worst. Call or email Randy Ivie today to start the process.