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Wills

Experienced NC and SC Trust and Estates Attorneys Draft Your Last Will and Testament

Knowledgeable estate planning lawyers help you prepare your family for the future

A will is essential at every stage of your life, providing you with the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes for what will happen upon your death. A will is necessary if you intend to leave property to someone who is not your blood relative, e.g., a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, the court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your beloved pet — and the decisions the court makes might not reflect your desires. The estate planning lawyers at Watts Law Group can draft a valid will that accurately conveys your intentions so your final wishes will be honored.

What constitutes a valid will?

Wills are not difficult to execute, but simple mistakes can render them invalid in whole or in part. Essential elements of a valid will include:

  • Intent — The testator must intend that the document created be a last will and testament at the time it is created. Therefore, the testator must have capacity, meaning sound mind and comprehension, and the testator must create the will voluntarily, without coercion, compulsion or undue influence.
  • Proper execution — A traditional will is written, signed by the testator and either affirmed by two (2) disinterested witnesses or a self-proving affidavit. A disinterested witness is one who does not stand to gain by the execution of the will.
  • Clear language — A statement within a will which is confusing or open to various interpretations can invalidate all or part of the will.

An error in the execution of your will can cause confusion in the court and rancor among your heirs. To make sure that your wishes can be carried out, let Watts Law Group draft a valid will.

Reviewing and changing your will

As your life unfolds, your circumstances change and your concerns may shift. To remain current, you should review and update your will every three to five years. We review your will in light of your current finances, marital status and family situation. We draft valid codicils that address changes in your circumstances and outlook.

Appointing a guardian for your minor children

Your will allows you to make contingency plans for the care of your minor children. This is especially crucial if you are a single parent, but married couples must also consider the remote possibility of death in a common accident. If you have not named a guardian for your children, the court appoints one, who may make decisions contrary to your wishes. In your will, you can also make arrangements for the care of your pets, naming a guardian to take responsibility for them.

Creating an optimal estate plan

Drafting an effective will is more involved than drafting a valid will. Watts Law Group works closely with you to identify your legacy goals and advise you on the best means to achieve them. Sometimes, this means conveying assets via a will. At other times, disposing of assets via a will triggers estate taxes, sharply diminishing the value of the bequest. Often, when discussing financial and real estate assets, we uncover liability exposure that raises doubts about whether those assets could survive even a short run of bad luck. It is then that we discuss the need for a comprehensive estate plan, including a variety of trusts, that can protect your wealth for enjoyment during retirement, then transfer it seamlessly to your heirs without estate tax issues.

Contact our thorough estate planning lawyers for help drafting a will

Watts Law Group drafts effective wills and comprehensive estate plans for clients throughout North and South Carolina. Isn’t it time you executed a will or reviewed an existing will? Call us at 910-579-6508 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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  • Shallotte Office
    4617 Main Street
    Shallotte, North Carolina 28470
    Phone: 910-579-6508
    Fax: 910-579-6510
  • Myrtle Beach Office
    4226 Mayfair Street
    Suite 204
    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577
    Phone: 800-639-7671
    Fax: 910-579-6510
  • Leland Office
    2002 South Baxter Drive
    Leland, North Carolina 28451
    Phone: 800-639-7671
    Fax: 910-579-6510