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Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law

An explanation of North Carolina Will Execution

Welcome to A Will is a document providing instructions as to what you want done with your property upon your death. Your Will sets out your instructions, not only for property distribution, but it may also choose guardians for your minor children. It may designate the person to manage property for a minor (called a conservator), the person to manage property during the probate process (called an Executor) and state your preferences for a funeral and burial. In addition, a Will provides instructions for when and how your chosen beneficiaries will receive the property. Many responsible adults avoid making a Will because they do not like to consider the possibility of their inevitable death. However, they fail to understand that when they don't take the time to prepare these instructions through a Will, the State of North Carolina (or their state of residency) has prepared a set of instructions for the management and distribution of their property and has even determined the beneficiaries of that property.

We suggest that our clients prepare a Will because the client understands their family's needs far better than the State of North Carolina (or their state of residency). A Will can be revoked anytime during the competent lifetime of the Testator (the person who makes a Will). When preparing a Will, carefully choose your fiduciaries, the Executor and Guardian (and successors in case the chosen person is not available to serve), whom you want to carry out your instructions and raise your minor children. The Executor of the Will pays expenses and other probate estate costs include attorney fees, taxes, court costs and the final bills of the decedent and then distributes the remaining probate property in accordance with the Will. The Guardian named in your Will should be a person who you know will take good care of your minor children and raise them with the same values you hold.

More discussion on Wills, probate and alternatives to a Will can be found in our sections on avoiding probate through Revocable Trusts ("Living Trusts"), "Probate - Understanding Living Trusts", "How you can Avoid Probate, Save Taxes and More", "What's so bad about Probate", "Doesn't Joint Ownership Avoid Probate?" "Probate - if something happens to me, who has control?," "Probate - how can a living trust save on estate taxes?"

This will information is maintained by Dan Brady, Attorney and Certified Public Accountant, located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dan is a partner in the firm of Brady, Nordgren, Morton & Malone, PLLC.
Please visit our site to learn more about North Carolina probate and other areas of law in which we may be able to assist you in the management of your estate and legal affairs.

Telephone: 919-782-3500
Telefax: 919-573-1430

Brady, Nordgen, Morton & Malone, PLLC

2301 Sugar Bush Rd., Suite 450
Raleigh, NC 27612

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