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NC and SC Estate Planning and Elder Law Firm

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

How Do You Create a Valid Will in North Carolina?

Creating a Will

Establishing an estate plan and creating a will are important to help ensure your wishes are honored and your family is provided for after you pass. Without a valid will in place, your estate will be distributed not according to your wishes, but according to the intestacy laws of the state. Essentially, state intestacy laws give your property to your closest relatives, usually starting with your spouse and children. If you do not have a surviving spouse or children, the property is distributed down the statutory list down to increasingly distant relatives. If the court finds that you have no living relatives, your property will pass to the state. This is why it is not just important that you create a will, but that you create a legally valid will. North Carolina law has specific requirements in order for your will to be valid.

How Do You Create a Valid Will in North Carolina?

To create a valid will in North Carolina, you must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind. You must have the mental capacity to know not only that you are executing a will, but that you understand the nature of how you are distributing your estate in the will. You are also required to have two witnesses to the signing of your will. North Carolina does not require a notary to make a will legal, but it may be a good idea to have one. The state of North Carolina allows you to establish a “self-proving will,” but you need a notary to do so. You and the witnesses need to go before a notary and sign an affidavit stating who each of you are and attesting to the fact that you knew you were signing a will. A self-proving will means that the probate court will accept the validity of the will without having to contact the witnesses who signed it. This can significantly speed up what can often be an arduous probate process.

You can make changes to your will and have it remain valid, however it is often easier to revoke your old will and make a new one. To revoke a will, you must destroy it with the intent to revoke it. You can also order someone else to destroy your will in front of you. In the alternative, you can make a new will that explicitly states it revokes the old will. If you still just want to just make a simple change to your will instead of revoking it and creating a new one, you can add a codicil to your will. A codicil is an amendment to a will. To finalize the changes, you must observe the same formalities required when you originally made your will.

Establishing an Estate Plan You Can Rely On

At Monk Law, we help create an estate plan that you can count on. We are dedicated to capturing the unique needs of our clients in their estate plans and helping them protect their visions for the future. Contact us today.


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Monk Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Charlotte, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and the surrounding areas.



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| Phone: 803-594-4453
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| Phone: 704-369-9977

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