i own 2 houses, timeshare, money in the bank and investments. I have 2 children. I want to leave everything to my son and grandson. Im 60 years old and divorced.
Wills and Living Wills Lawyer
If you want to make sure everything goes to your son and grandson you need either a will or a trust. Otherwise, under NC law without these documents it is likely that all of your assets will be divided between both of your children.
If you have significant assets, it is worth spending a little money to hire an attorney to draft your will, and other estate planning documents that may be necessary. This will ensure that your assets are handled according to your wishes after your death. If you try to do it yourself, you run a significant risk of it being done erroneously, or having another family member challenge the validity of the will. In sum - spend the money and hire an attorney.
Estate Planning Attorney
You should certainly retain a local estate planning attorney to draft your estate plan. First off, if you have it drafted by a lawyer, it should be completed in such a way that your final wishes are properly memorialized. Another great reason, is that you can have the attorney provide you advice should you become incapacitated. The doing it yourself or using a kit simply does not provide the requisite level of expertise and experience.
When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel.
A will allows you to determine how your assets are divided after you die. If you do not have a will, then your assets will be divided pursuant to NC Intestate Succession Act. In other words, if you do not have a will, you are allowing the Legislature to determine how your estate is to be divided. For example, if you are still not married at the time that you pass, then your two children will divide everything equally, and your grandson will get nothing. If you remarry in the future, then the distribution of your assets will change again, with your spouse receiving 1/3 of the real estate and the first $30,000 of personal property plus 1/3 of the remaining personal property. There are other advantages to a will as well, such as the fact that you can specify that your executor does not have to give a bond to the Clerk to serve. If you do not have a will, then your administrator will have to buy a surety bond before he/she can be appointed as your administrator. You can change your will at any time, so you can change it to address changes in your personal situation. Bottom line, you need a will to achieve the division of your estate to your son and grandson. You do not have to hire an attorney to draft a will, but there are pitfalls that can invalidate your will. However, if you do not follow the law in drafting and executing the will, then the will will not be enforceable. Most attorneys do not charge very much for a simple will, so that is money well spent.
The attorney responding is licensed only in the state of North Carolina. This response does NOT constitute legal advice and does NOT create an attorney/ client relationship! Rather, the response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Although a response is provided to the specific question, there may be other facts and law relevant to the issue that the questioner has left out and which would make the reply unsuitable. Therefore, the questioner should not base any decision on the answer, but should confer with an attorney in person about the specifics of his or her case.
Do you need a lawyer? No. But you risk making a huge mistake if you try to save yourself a few bucks and do it yourself using a kit. You may end up leaving a big lawsuit instead.
Wills are not all that expensive. Go and seek out an estate planning lawyer. It is imperative that you make a will if you want to leave your property to one son and a grandson and disinherit the other child.
I prepare wills and other estate planning documents for a reasonable fee. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In most situations, it is not necessary for you to travel to my office as things can be accomplished over the phone, fax, email or regular mail.