A will, or last will and testament, is a legal document that gives you the power to control how your property passes and to whom it passes at your death. For example, a will may be used to specify who will receive your home or other real estate, your automobile, furniture, jewelry, bank accounts and more. If you have minor children, a will may be used to designate a guardian to care for your children at your death. A will also gives you the power to designate a personal representative, sometimes referred to as an executor, to handle the affairs of your estate at your death.
Under North Carolina law, anyone age 18 years or older and of sound mental capacity may execute a will. North Carolina law sets forth very specific requirements for creating a valid will, including the required presence of witnesses at the will’s execution and signature verification by a notary public.
Wills should be reviewed and updated periodically as life circumstances change. Additionally, if you have a will from another state, you should have it reviewed by a North Carolina attorney to ensure that it is valid under North Carolina Law as the rules regarding wills vary from state to state.