This is the first in a 3 post series on the three wills you should have in your lifetime. Most people think of estate planning as something that should happen later in life, but in North Carolina, a competent person can execute a will as early as age 18. Typically there are three main life events that motivate people to think about their estate plans, in today’s post I’ll talk about the first.
Marriage and/or Children
Although we encourage clients to develop an estate plan as early as possible (age 18) and to review that estate plan regularly, getting married, buying a house, and/or having children is often the first time that young people start thinking about their estate plan. A will is your statutorily prescribed opportunity to nominate a Guardian for your minor children. It is also a good time to make sure that your assets will pass to your new spouse, if they survive you, or to your children if your spouse does not survive you. Under North Carolina law, that is not necessarily what would happen to your assets if you died without a will so it is important to execute a will that clearly sets out your wishes. If you already have a will that does not mention your spouse or children, then you need to update that will to address your new family situation.
Marriage is also a prompt to execute or revise your Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney to appoint someone to make your medical and financial decisions. Although your new spouse has some rights by law, putting these documents in place assures that they will be able to make the decisions that you want them to make. If your new spouse is not the person you want making these decisions, then you can use these documents to make sure that your preferred decision-maker has the necessary authority.
If you have questions about estate planning or wish to begin your plan or update an existing plan contact our office Fuquay-Varina 919-552-4707 or send us an email.
Latest posts by Amanda Sherrod (see all)
- But Who Gets Mother’s Pearls - January 6, 2015
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- Other Life Events When You Should Update Your Will - December 17, 2014