Important Things You Should Know

Help and FAQ

Helpful How To's for Users

First time users will set up their account at www.ncestateplans.com/register. There is no charge for registering an account. You will only need an email address that documents will be sent to, and a password that you would like to use.

You will complete your confidential questionnaire before you decide what type of documents you want to purchase. That way, you can make sure that NC Estate Plans is right for you before you proceed to order your documents.

After you register as a new user on the site, you can immediately start to complete your confidential questionnaire. Most people complete this questionnaire in 15 minutes or less. Immediately after ordering your documents you will receive a summary of key provisions for review. You can schedule a time to sign your documents with The Elderlaw Firm in Greensboro, NC, during office hours, and talk to an attorney for up to 30 minutes at that time. Generally we have appointments available within 2 business days.

You pay for the documents by credit card when you order them. There is a full money back satisfaction guarantee as described here.

When you arrive for your complimentary signing appointment, we will have your documents ready to sign in front of witnesses and a notary so that your documents will be executed in accordance with North Carolina law. We will provide you with one copy of your signed document, in a folder to take with you. If you choose to handle the document signing your self, we would first do a 30 minute conference with you and then ship your documents to you. The first document shipment is free.

When you click “submit” at the end of the form, you will save your progress. You will receive a customized link that allows you to access your saved questionnaire to revise or change your answers before ordering your documents. This system does not allow changes to your questionnaire after you have ordered and paid for your documents.

Because your email address is your User ID, currently you would not be able to change your email address. You would instead need to start a new account using your new email address.

NC Estate Plans presumes equal distributions to your children with one exception: you can disinherit a child (and the child’s descendants) if you wish.
If you disinherit a child (and his/her descendants), then all remaining children will receive equal shares. If you disinherit a child (but not his/her descendants) then the child’s descendants will take the share the disinherited child would have received if not disinherited.

Yes, you can exclude a child from inheriting from your estate. You can also specify whether or not that child’s descendants are also disinherited.

You can revise your questionnaire anytime before you order your documents.
If you need to make changes after you have ncestateplans@elderlawfirm.com made ordered your documents, please send an email to ncestateplans@elderlawfirm.com to request that your account be reopened to make changes.

Getting Started

An estate plan provides instructions for what should happen upon a person’s incapacity or death. An estate plan allows people to make sure their wishes are known and respected. A proper estate plan will make hard times easier for ones, and provides peace of mind.
A typical estate plan includes a Will that designates the person who will settle the deceased’s estate, and states who will receive an inheritance. The Will also names a Guardian for minor children, and can include a Children’s Trust to manage a child’s inheritance until they are old enough to make good decisions (for example until age 25 or 30).
Proper estate planning requires having Powers of Attorney to appoint a trusted relative or friend (called an Agent) to make financial and medical decisions for you in you are not able to do so someday.
Failure to plan means the State generally results in more expense, more delays, and more heartaches and headaches, for both death and incapacity.

Online estate planning is best to reduce costs, for routine planning and typical situations. We have seen too many mistakes when people do estate planning that does not involve any attorney review, or with documents that are improperly signed.
That’s why we have built amazing technology and include a no-cost attorney review during your complimentary signing meeting.
If you have sizeable assets or a complicated situation then you should definitely retain an experienced estate planning attorney.
But if you have a typical situation then online estate planning can work very well, especially when paired with our complimentary attorney review, and save you money, too.

Sometimes, yes. For example, you should hire an experienced estate planning attorney if you have a child with special needs, or you are wanting to avoid probate court, or if you have a son or daughter who makes bad life decisions. Also, getting your attorney’s advice would be important if you have sizeable assets (generally $250,000 or more plus a house) or want to protect against future nursing home costs.
If you’re in a situation where you think you might need an attorney to customize the right estate plan for you, you can call our office at 336-378-1122. We offer a free initial case evaluation so you’ll know whether we can help, and the price you can expect.

Most people complete the simple, step-by-step questionnaire in 15 minutes or less.
But if you prefer you can take as long as you wish. Some people prefer to take their time to answer the questionnaire. You even can answer some of the questions and then close the questionnaire and come back later to complete it.
The good news is this is simple and you can proceed at your own pace. That’s up to you.

A benefit of NC Estate Plans is that you know the pricing before you even start. Please visit our pricing page for pricing information. Also, we offer a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee. 

Yes you can. North Carolina requires that the lawyer needs to talk with the person before they review and sign their documents.
If you’re answering the questionnaire for someone else, please make sure to answer from their perspective. For example, when the questionnaire asks about marital status or children, you’ll answer that for them not yourself.
Anyone who signs estate planning documents must have the legal capacity to do so, and not be under any constraint or undue influence. That is another reason why having a proper signing meeting is important, to have documents that are legally binding under North Carolina law.

That depends upon your situation and your goals. A Will makes a person’s wishes known in the event of death. If there are assets that pass under the Will then a court proceeding is required, which is called “Probate.” A Trust on the other hand is a way to avoid or reduce the Probate process. A Trust involves more work up front but it can save time, expense, delay, and family friction later.
Generally Trusts are used when there are significant assets (typically $250,000 or more) that would otherwise require probate. Trusts are also used for tax reasons and to preserve assets against future nursing home costs.
You can ask the attorney at your signing meeting whether a Trust might be advisable. If at your signing meeting you decide to upgrade to a Trust-based plan, the price of your NC Estate Plans estate planning will be 100% credited to doing a Trust for you instead.

About NC Estate Plans Online

NC Estate Plans Online is an online document drafting service offered by The Elderlaw Firm. This is designed to assist NC residents who want documents designed by an expert NC attorney, through an online process that allows for lower, do-it-yourself pricing. Because documents are only effective after they are properly signed, we also have include a complimentary signing meeting and free 30-minute review with our office at that time.

We want to help more people to have proper estate planning. We fully understand that many people have routine estate planning needs. NC Estate Plans ensures that people can get the help they need, at prices that are lower than if they met first with our attorneys.

We see every day examples of the extra costs, delays, heartaches and headaches that improper estate planning causes. We hope that we can allow families to deal with untimely death and disability, and to have the peace of mind that proper estate planning brings.

The Elderlaw Firm is an estate planning and elder law firm located in Greensboro, North Carolina. We re are able to assist NC residents throughout the state of North Carolina.

If you are not able to come to our office for your complimentary document signing, then after we have a virtual meeting with you to review your documents we can email the documents to you for signing, or we offer a complimentary one-time shipment.

NC Estate Plans is a service of The Elderlaw Firm. We are a private estate planning law firm in Greensboro, NC. Dennis Toman founded The Elderlaw Firm in 2002, with the mission of providing our community with elder law and estate planning services to protect their home, savings and family. Dennis Toman is a NC Board Certified expert in Estate Planning, Probate and Elder Law.

General Information

You should feel comfortable creating your estate plan through NC Estate Plans. We want you to be 100% satisfied with your documents and your experience. If for any reasons you are not satisfied with your completed documents, please email us to request a refund within 30 days after your purchase. We will process that refund quickly for you.
To request a refund, please email us at ncestateplans@elderlawfirm.com, with this information:
Your name
Email address
Date of purchase
Your reason for requesting a refund

Please allow up to 5 business days for us to review and respond. Generally any refund will be made to the credit card used for purchase.

You can change your answers to your questionnaire at any time until you purchase your documents.
After you have purchased your documents, updates during the first year will cost $200 for single, and $300 for married. Updates after the first year will be priced as new documents.
If you decide you would like to update your documents, please contact us so we can set your account to allow updating your documents. This price also includes redoing your signing meeting, and another 30 minute review with a lawyer at The Elderlaw Firm.

If you have questions through this process, the best way to deal with those is to write down your questions so that you can go over those with the attorney during your complementary 30-minute consultation.
For additional questions after your signing, please call us at 336-378-1122. If it is a quick answer not involving legal advice, there is no charge. however, if you require legal advice, that would require a consultation with a lawyer and there is a charge for that consultation

If you wish to delete your account, we will be glad to help with that. Please send us an email at ncestateplans@elderlawfirm.com. You should provide us with the following information:
The email you used when you created the account
The reason for your request.

Please allow us up to 5 business days to review and respond.

Types of Documents

Your Will documents your final wishes for settling your estate. Includes naming a Guardian if you have minor children.

Your Will with Children’s Trust names who will settle your estate and how your estate would pass upon your death. It also includes naming a Guardian if you have minor children. This Will also includes provisions that name a trusted person (your Trustee) to look after you child’s inheritance until they reach an age that you think they will do better making financial decisions. This is an important strategy to ensure that a child does not recklessly spend money when they receive a large amount at age 18 or 21.

Your Power of Attorney authorizes someone you trust (an Agent) to manage your financial affairs if you are incapacitated.

Your Health Care Power of Attorney states your wishes for care and designate who will make your medical decisions if you cannot. It applies even if you are going to get better, but you simply are unable to make or communicate your own decisions, and so someone else can make those decisions for you based on your instructions.

A Living Will states your wishes about end-of-life care. It authorizes the physician to withhold or discontinue life prolonging care, or otherwise states your wishes for end-of-life care when you cannot make or communicate those decisions yourself.

Your HIPAA Authorization designates who can talk with your doctors and receive protected health information in emergencies. They are not authorized to make your medical decisions; that authorization would be provided through the Health Care Power of Attorney.

Signing Your Documents

After your documents are created, they become legally valid only after you sign them properly according to North Carolina law.
We will assist you with the document signing, and provide the witnesses and notary required.
If you decide to handle the signing yourself, we will provide you with clear instructions that say exactly what is required by the state of North Carolina.
All documents require notarization. Some documents (your Will for example) must be signed in front of 2 witnesses and a notary.

Yes we do! After you create your documents, the next step is to schedule your complimentary signing meeting in our office. We will provide witnesses, a notary, and we will make a copy of all signed documents to include in your documents folder to take with you.
If you prefer to handle the signing on your own, we have a way for you to do that, too. In that case, we will still need to do a complementary attorney consultation (up to 30 minutes) by phone or Zoom. We can then email your documents to you to sign, or we can ship paper versions to you one time. If you handle the signing on your own, then you will need to provide your own witnesses and notary.

North Carolina law is very specific about who can be your witnesses. We recommend that you sign your documents in our office, using our complementary signing meeting and attorney review (up to 30 minutes). That way we will provide your witnesses and notary.
If you handle your own signing, then it is up to you to follow North Carolina law when selecting your witnesses. We will include detailed instructions with your documents. You will also need to locate a notary. Often people use the UPS store for notary services, or their local bank.
As a general matter, you should not have these people as witnesses:
For Wills, you should not have a witness who would inherit part of your estate under your Will.
For your Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will, your witness cannot be related to you, or work for your medical provider. They also cannot be someone whom you owe money to.
The best way to make sure your documents are witnessed in accordance with North Carolina is to sign your documents at the office of The Elderlaw Firm, in Greensboro, NC. Appointments are required.

No. Currently North Carolina law does not allow for Wills and Powers of Attorney to be signed and witnessed online. At some point that law may change, but currently you need to sign in person in front of the witnesses and notary.

After you schedule your signing conference, we will set aside a time for you to meet in the office of The Elderlaw Firm. We will have your documents prepared as you indicated at NC Estate Plans, ready for your signature. You should plan to bring your drivers license with you so that we may notarize your signature. You will meet with a staff person who will go over your documents and explain key points to you. You also will have the opportunity to ask estate planning questions, of the lawyer.
We recommend that if you have questions you wish to ask the lawyer, that you write them down so that you can both go over that list and make sure you get the answers you need.
Provided that the signing meeting lasts no longer than 30 minutes, there is no charge for these services. If you have questions to answer that extend the meeting, a charge may apply and we also may ask that you reschedule to another time if there are other clients waiting.
After your documents are signed, you will receive a the signed, original copies. You will also receive one copy of the signed documents. We will place those documents into a folder and give them to you. You will have the only original documents, and so you should be sure to store your documents for safekeeping.

Estate Planning Tips For Your Situation in Life

Anyone 18 years of age or older needs to have at least Powers of Attorney in place. Why? That’s because once you become an adult at age 18, no one has the authority to make decisions if you become incapacitated.
For example, there are situations where a young person has an automobile accident, or a sudden and severe illness. Unless that young person took the time to name who should make medical and financial decisions, the the parents can’t make those decisions. In fact no one can make those decisions. Instead, what will be required is that an emergency, court-appointed Guardianship process get started. That means your wishes may not be followed, and it’s up to the court (not you) to decide who makes those decisions for you.
A Will should also be put into place for a young person. For a single person who dies without a Will, their estate will go to their parent(s) through the North Carolina intestacy process.
If you have life insurance or retirement plans, be sure to name beneficiaries for those, as well.

Young couples especially need to have Wills and Powers of Attorney in place. Here are a few situations that explain why.
Under North Carolina law, if a spouse dies and there are no children, the surviving spouse does not automatically inherit the deceased spouse’s estate. In other words, if the husband has a car accident and dies, then his estate will be split between his parent(s) and his surviving spouse. That comes as big shock to many widows, who wish that they had taken care of their estate planning earlier.
Young couples also need to plan ahead for possible incapacity. Unless there are legally binding Powers of Attorney, no one…not even your spouse…automatically has the authority to make your medical or financial decisions. Not having these important documents could mean a family feud if other family members disagree with the spouse’s decisions.
If you believe your spouse should inherit everything if you die, and you want your spouse to make your decisions if you cannot, then you need a properly prepared and legally binding estate plan. Period.

Yes, you do need an estate plan. Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. And it’s not just about what happens when a person dies. It’s also about whether the person’s wishes for care will be respected. And its about planning for family in the event of death.
For example, a Will is critical for a North Carolina resident with minor children. That’s because if the child’s parents die, the Will can designate who should raise the young children until age 18. If there is no Will, then the Courts make that decision instead, and it can cause family fights.
Another example is that what if you have a car accident and survive but can’t make your own decisions? In that case, no one else…not your spouse, not your children, not your parents…can make those decisions for you unless you have named them as your Agent in a properly prepared and legally binding Power of Attorney. You need a Power of Attorney for both financial and medical purposes.
Failure to invest the time and money to have the right Power of Attorney means your family will have to endure the time consuming, expensive, adversarial, and red tape dictates of a Court appointed Guardian.
You can avoid all of that by having the right estate plan. It’s up to you.
The good news is that estate planning through NC Estate Plans is quick, easy and cost effective. Why wait? Get started now.

If you have minor children, you definitely need to appoint a Guardian for them under your Will. That’s important even if your estate is small, because if you don’t do this then the Court will decide who the Guardian will be, not you.
Do you need any other reason to get started with preparing your estate plan?
Remember, your Powers of Attorney are just as important, and perhaps even more important, than having a Will.
That’s because if you become incapacitated, perhaps through a car accident, or illness, or work injury, then you want your spouse named as being able to make medical and financial decisions for you because you can’t. Otherwise your spouse has to go to Court at an already difficult time and have an emergency Guardian appointed. That is costly, full of read tape and time consuming, and the process often leads to family fights.

If you’re considering a separation or divorce, that is already a difficult time and there are so many things to consider and worry about.
This is also a time when estate planning likely needs to be done or updated.
For example, under North Carolina law when there is a Power of Attorney for finances or health care that names a spouse as the Agent, that spouse continues to have that authority until the divorce happens. That comes as a big surprise to many people.
Maybe you’re comfortable with your soon-to-be ex-spouse having authority over your finances, or being the one making medical decisions for you if you can’t do so yourself. But for most people they have little or no trust in that person, and so you need to update your estate planning documents.
Similarly, if you’re considering separation or divorce and have no estate planning documents now, you need to go ahead and do that. Why? Because if you die your estate would pass largely to your spouse and maybe you no longer want that. Also, if you had a car accident or illness and became incapacitated, then who would make your decisions would be up to the Courts. They might name your ex-spouse, or they might not. But either way, if you go ahead and do your Powers of Attorney you get to name the person you want instead of leaving it up to the Courts, and you avoid a family fight over who should become your Guardian.

If you are going through a divorce you need to update your estate planning, unless you’re still fine with your soon-to-be ex-spouse inheriting everything and making decisions for you. That’s because a divorce proceeding by itself does not remove your not-yet-divorced spouse from being a beneficiary or from handling your estate or being your Agent. Your should update your Will to direct how your estate will be handled, and also your Powers of Attorney to name the Agent you want to act.
If you’ve already divorced, you also should update your estate planning. Here’s why. First, for some couples they still trust their ex-spouse to make medical and financial decisions. However, that authority ended under previously signed Powers of Attorney, when you got your divorce. So you would need to sign new Powers of Attorney after your divorce.
On the other hand, maybe you don’t want your ex-spouse to have any say in your estate or decisions. In that case the good news is that the divorce terminated their rights to do do that. It also removed them as a beneficiary of your Will. However, keep in mind 2 very important things:
First, the divorce does not remove your ex-spouse as your beneficiary under any IRA or life insurance you have in place. You would need to change that beneficiary…even if you get remarried!
And secondly, review your previous estate planning to make sure that the alternate beneficiaries, and the successor Executors/Agents are who you want now that your ex-spouse is out of the picture.
You also may want to update your documents to reflect your new name. All of those are critical reasons for updating your estate planning at this time.

You are planning to always be around to provide for your child with special needs. But what will happen if someday you aren’t?
That’s why it’s very important to do extra estate planning for your child with special needs. This is a very specialized type of estate planning, with many possible pitfalls that you can avoid with experienced help.
A big concern about planning for a child with special needs is ensuring that any inheritance they receive will actually help improve the quality of their life. Unfortunately, if you leave an inheritance to a child, indirectly or directly, in a way that the inheritance is considered the child’s assets then the child will quickly lose the benefit of that inheritance. That’s because a child on government benefits, who who needs to qualify for government benefits, will be ineligible for financial help from the government until the child has almost no money.
That often results in a child receiving an inheritance that the parent thought would be a benefit to the child, but instead the inheritance knocks the child off of government financial assistance, then all of the money gets spent on expenses that could have been covered by Medicaid. Then, when the child has next to no money left, they can be eligible again for financial assistance from the government.
The better estate plan would have been to implement a Supplemental Needs Trust for the benefit of the child with special needs.
Because this type of planning is more complex, the documents in NC Estate Plans would not offer the right amount of guidance to a parent of a child with special needs.
We encourage you to hire an experienced estate planning lawyer. If you’d like to talk with our office for a complimentary 15-20 minute case evaluation about your options and price for proceeding, please call The Elderlaw Firm at 336-378-1122.

Sometimes a parent knows they need to plan ahead to protect their child’s inheritance. Generally that is not done through a Will-based estate plan. Instead, you should have a living trust that includes continuing a trust for the child who could otherwise lose or blow their inheritance.
If you have an adult child who has people after their money (a bad marriage, an ex-spouse, or creditors from an accident or failed business) you can protect their inheritance through the right Living Trust based structure. Similarly, if you have a child who can’t manage their own money, you can use a different type of continuing trust under your Living Trust to make sure that they will get the benefit of your hear work, and not blow their inheritance through bad decisions, or even drugs or alcohol.
These types of protective trust arrangements are more complex than offered through NC Estate Plans. You should seek help from an experienced estate planning attorney to get the plan that meets your needs. If you’d like to talk with our office for a complimentary 15-20 minute case evaluation about your options and price for proceeding, please call The Elderlaw Firm at 336-378-1122.

It’s a good idea to update your estate planning once the children are away to college, or when you are otherwise an empty nester. Probably you did your Will when your children were young. You may even have named your parent as your Executor. You should review your documents to make sure that you’ve named the people to handle your estate, and specified your medical decisions.
Also, the laws change over time. And your finances may have changed significantly. You may even have gone through a divorce. All of these reasons and more are important to reconsider and perhaps to update your estate planning now.
Also, at this point you may want to name your children in some order as your Executor and Agent, if your spouse can’t do that for you. That requires redoing your estate planning, too.

Congratulations are in order for your upcoming retirement. You’ve worked hard, and are ready to change how you will live for the coming years of your life.
As you near retirement, or are already are enjoying retirement, remember that estate planning is not just about what happens if you die. It is also about what happens if you don’t die, but become sick or have an accident or injury and can’t make your own decisions. That’s why it’s so important to have the right Powers of Attorney in place. These laws change over time, and it’s best to get these documents updated every 3 to 5 years. Also, it may have been a while since you last read your Will. Can you even find your old Will? It may be time to redo your old Will, especially if you can’t find it.
For routine situations, NC Estate Plans is here to help. Most people answer the simple questions within 15 minutes to create their own estate planning documents. You can order the Will package that includes Powers of Attorney, or you can order just the Powers of Attorney if you don’t need a Will. To make certain that your documents are signed in a way that makes them legally binding in North Carolina, we also include in the price a complimentary signing meeting and up to 30 minute attorney review, at our office.

Few people want to pay $100,000 or more for nursing home care, and even fewer people truly can afford to so for long. There are important steps that can be taken if you would like to protect assets…and your family… from future nursing home costs resulting from a stroke or car accident, or Alzheimer’s or other debilitating condition.
This type of planning is very specialized. We offer it at The Elderlaw Firm. If you are concerned about protecting assets, or having better resources to plan ahead for your chronic care needs, we do not recommend using NC Estate Plans to prepare your estate.
Instead, we recommend that you contact our office to go over options and that you hire an experienced Estate Planning and Elder Care Lawyer to help you.
If you’d like to talk with our office for a complimentary 15-20 minute case evaluation about your options and price for proceeding, please call The Elderlaw Firm at 336-378-1122.

If you’ve moved into North Carolina from another state, you should have your estate planning documents reviewed.
That’s because of two big reasons among others.
First, estate planning documents depend up each state’s laws. There is no way of knowing for certain that the Will or Powers of Attorney prepared in another state will be valid when the time comes that they are needed. And unfortunately what happens all too often is that the family learns that the estate planning from another state won’t work only after the person is incapacitated or dies. In other words, the family is likely to learn that bad news after it’s too late to do anything about it. They should have acted sooner.
And secondly, one of the purposes of proper estate planning is to make life easier for you and your family in difficult times. One way to do that is to have documents that don’t refer to another state’s laws. For example, imagine your spouse or parent is in the emergency room in North Carolina. You whip out the Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will that was done in Pennsylvania years ago when they still lived there. In that crisis situation, don’t you think that things would turn out much better if the hospital sees “North Carolina” law references that they have seen many times before? Unfortunately, a Power of Attorney tends to be as good as the person you’re dealing with thinks it is, and if they have to read one that references “Pennsylvania” law and statutes, they are likely to throw up their hands and say they don’t know what that means.
Any time someone moves to North Carolina from another state, they should update their Advanced Medical Directives (Health Care Care Power of Attorney, Living Will and HIPAA Authorization). They also should update their Power of Attorney for finances. And to avoid potential problems it is always safer to update the Will, too.
The good news is that at NC Estate Plans we make it easy for you to accomplish these updates. You will get do-it-yourself pricing for documents created by an expert North Carolina estate planning attorney, and with a complimentary document signing and 30 minute attorney review.
Click here to get started.

After You Have an Estate Plan

After you sign your documents in the office of The Elderlaw Firm, you will receive a the signed, original copies. You will also receive one copy of the signed documents. We will place those documents into a folder and give them to you. You will have the only original documents, and so you should be sure to store your documents for safekeeping.
If you handle the document signing, then we do not provide copies of the signed documents.

After you sign your documents in the office of The Elderlaw Firm, you will receive a the signed, original copies. You will also receive one copy of the signed documents. We will place those documents into a folder and give them to you. You will have the only original documents, and so you should be sure to store your documents for safekeeping.
If you handle the document signing, then we do not provide copies of the signed documents.

We recommend that you store your documents in a safe place. Generally we do not recommend that you provide the documents to others. Instead, you should notify your loved ones whom you trust, where your documents are located so they will be able to locate them in an emergency. We also recommend that you review and update your documents regularly, certainly no less than every 3 to 5 years.
You also should have a conversation with the people you have named to handle your estate. You do not need to share details about your estate plan unless you are comfortable in doing so. However, it is best that you have a conversation with your Executor, Trustee, Guardian, and Agents, so they know and agree to be named in those roles. It can also help avoid conflicts if you let close family members know that you have an estate plan, and who has been named in your documents to take charge.
You know your family best, and you have no obligation to tell anyone anything about your documents. However, from practical experience communication is a better route than keeping everyone in the dark.

You may decide to store your Will in your safety deposit box. However, generally your Power of Attorney for finances and Health Care Directives are better kept at your home in a secure location. That’s because health care emergencies rarely happen during banking hours, and gaining access to a safety deposit box at the last minute can be complicated or even impossible.
We are told by fire fighters that one of the best places to keep documents safe even in a fire is in a chest freezer. Many people also purchase small fire-proof safes, or have their papers kept in a secure desk drawer. You may also want to keep a copy of the Heath Care Directives in your glove compartment. Again, you should only keep a copy there, not the original, signed document.

Yes, you can update documents as needed. To update the document within one year after signing, the price would be $200. That includes the complimentary signing meeting. After one year, it would be redoing your documents online.
It’s a good idea to review your estate plan at least every 3 to 5 years. You should also reconsider your decisions reflected in your plan, when there are changes in your family, your finances, your health, or the law. For example, it’s time to revisit your estate planning upon big life events, such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces, estranged relationships or reconciliations.
Any new documents will need to be signed again. We make signing easy, as described here about signing your documents.
Please note that signing your new documents revokes previous versions. You can then shred or otherwise destroy those versions so that there are no doubts about revocation.

If you move to a state other than North Carolina, we recommend that you have your documents reviewed in that state for changes. That’s because the estate planning laws are different between states. For routine estate planning, you might choose to prepare your documents online. For more complex situations, you should retain an experienced estate planning attorney in your new state.

You should update your estate planning documents if you’ve moved to North Carolina from another state.
In addition, it’s a good idea to review your estate plan at least every 3 to 5 years. You should also reconsider your decisions reflected in your plan, when there are changes in your family, your finances, your health, or the law. For example, it’s time to revisit your estate planning upon big life events, such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces, estranged relationships or reconciliations.

If you prepared your Will before you had any children, then having your first child is a good reason to revisit your estate plan to make sure that your children would inherit your estate (if your spouse does not survive you).
On the other hand if your Will already provided for children, you should still review your Will. If your Will does not state anything about your new child inheriting anything, then you should sign a new Will.

Under the laws of the state of North Carolina, a spouse acquires certain rights that can over ride the will. However, if your intent is that your new spouse be your primary beneficiary, then you should update your Will. Also, very likely you would like to make your new spouse your Executor upon your death, or your Agent for financial and medical decisions. In order to do that, you will need to update your Powers of Attorney, too.
Failure to update your estate planning documents after marriage could lead to hardships that could have been avoided. Don’t delay, and be sure to update your estate plan soon after marrying.

A divorce under North Carolina generally causes the ex-spouse to be treated as if they had predeceased for purposes of the estate planning documents. That means that unless the documents indicate otherwise, the former spouse does not inherit under his/her ex-spouse’s Will. It also means the former spouse normally would not continue to be considered to be the Executor or Agent for the ex-spouse. However, divorce does not remove the former spouse as a beneficiary under an IRA or life insurance or the like. For that reason, it is important to make sure that you have updated all beneficiary designations upon a divorce, as well as updating your estate plan.
A separation is also the time to update your estate plan. Many people do not realize that a separation does not have the same effect as a divorce. That means your soon-to-be ex-spouse remains as your primary beneficiary under your Will and your Agent for financial and health care decisions, unless you update your estate plan.
Updating your estate plan needs to be near the top of your to-do list if you are separated or have divorced.

After you sign your documents you should keep them in a safe location. You may want to have your Power of Attorney for finances recorded with the local Register of Deeds. That makes sure that there is still available a recorded copy, even if the signed, original document is accidentally lost. Recording a Power of Attorney makes it more difficult to revoke the Power of Attorney if you later decide to do so. If you believe you won’t be wanting to change your Power of Attorney, then recording it is a smart idea.
The Power of Attorney for finances also must be recorded in any county where you intend to use the Power of Attorney to sell real estate.
Please note, you would never file your Will, Health Care Power of Attorney, or Living Will with the Register of Deeds. Those documents should be kept in a safe place until they are needed.
When a person dies, the original Will is filed with the Courthouse to start an estate administration. However, the Will is generally not presented for filing until after the person dies.

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