Elizabeth City Wills Lawyer

Most individuals are not comfortable with discussing their death or what may happen afterward. However, just as we plan for other eventualities such as buying a home, our children’s education, and other significant events, planning for what happens after we are gone with an estate plan is just as important.

A common misconception is that when an individual dies, their assets, such as property, bank accounts, vehicles, etc., are automatically passed on to their next of kin. However, this is not always the case.

Creating a will is a valuable resource that enables you to predetermine in a legal document how you would like your assets to be divided among your heirs and other beneficiaries that you designate. It can enable you to have the peace of mind that after you are gone, your loved ones can be properly cared for as you have established within the will. An Elizabeth City wills lawyer is ready to help you draft a document that fits your needs and wishes.

Do Spouses Need Separate Wills?

The law in North Carolina states that each spouse must have their own separate will. What is known as a reciprocal will is a good option for married couples. A reciprocal will is a will that is, in essence, a mirror image of each other’s will. These types of wills can work to set forth the couple’s joint intentions as to their final wishes.

Regardless of the type of will that you decide upon, you may only dictate your wishes as to the property that you own and not that of your spouse. Therefore, they will need to create their own will, which indicates their own final wishes. Typically, most spouses allocate that their belongings should be left to their spouse. The surviving spouse then outlines in their own will that the remaining assets be left to their children or other designated beneficiaries.

Joint wills can be problematic for the surviving spouse as when the first spouse passes away, there is no legal way to change the will, and it is considered to be locked. Nonetheless, if you currently have a joint will, you do have the option to change it. One of the Elizabeth City attorneys at our law firm would be happy to assist you and create two strong individual wills that will protect both of your interests.

Storing a Will

It is recommended that you store your will in an area that is safe from the possibility of it being destroyed by such things as water, fire, and smoke damage. You should also guard against the possibility of theft. One recommendation is that you permit the Clerk of Court in the city/county in which you currently reside to store your will for safekeeping.

Another common method of keeping your will safe from harm or theft is to store it either in your home or in a safety deposit box at the bank. If you prefer to use a safe deposit box, you need to inform the executor of your will and your beneficiaries of the location of the will and how to access it. Additionally, you will need to grant the executor of your will the legal authorization to take possession of it upon your death by allowing them access to the safe deposit box after you pass away. A lawyer in Elizabeth City can help you determine the best way to store your will.

Hire an Elizabeth City Wills Attorney

Today, there are many choices available to you as to how you would like to create a will. Many individuals choose a do-it-yourself option. Although this can be a simple and convenient method to create a will, it is not always the best choice. If you have any special needs or circumstances that need to be addressed in a will, it is best if you speak with a skilled Elizabeth City wills lawyer who can advise you of your legal options and help you make a decision based on your individual needs.

The attorneys at Parks Zeigler recognize that planning for your death is not a pleasant thing to think about, much less plan for ahead of time. However, planning a will can give you the peace of mind that you need when thinking about the future of your loved ones. Contact our law office to speak with a member of our legal team about your options.

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law N/a
4768 Euclid Road,
Suite 103

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
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524 Albemarle Drive,
Suite 200

Chesapeake, Virginia 23322
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200 N. Water Street,
Suite 2A

Elizabeth City, NC 27909
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