What is a Will?
Everyone needs a will. A will is the most commonly known part of estate planning. It’s a written document naming the beneficiaries of your possessions – basically, a “who gets what” document. This can include naming the beneficiary of your 401k, your home, car, jewelry, and even your pets.
With a will, you decide who inherits from you. You also choose the person, an Executor, who will follow the instructions in your will.
Who Needs a Will?
Everyone needs a will. You can be rich or poor. Married or single. Be a parent or be childless. Young or old. You still need a will.
What Happens if I Don’t Have a Will?
If you do not have a will, then the State of North Carolina will decide who gets your property when you die. North Carolina does not care if you do not like these people. North Carolina does not care about the needs of these people. Even if you have not spoken to these people in years, North Carolina does not care.
North Carolina, like most states, has created an intestacy statute. Intestacy is a fancy word for dying without a will. North Carolina has already decided how your property should be distributed when you die.
Don’t like North Carolina’s plan? Or, better yet, want a say in who will inherit from you? Then you need a will. A will allows you to disinherit individuals who would normally inherit from you under state law.
If you have children and no will naming a guardian for their care, guess who decides the guardian? Yep, that’s right. Good ole North Carolina and it’s guardianship proceedings.
Tax Savings Advantage
A well-written will can save your heirs taxes. If you are married, a will can transfer your unused martial estate tax portion to your spouse when you die.