How to Make a Simple Will



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Do you need a Will but worry about the cost and time required? Here’s good news! In this article, we’ll explain how you can get a Will done online quickly, and within a reasonable budget.

Have you decided to do a Will but don’t know where to start? Here’s help to get a Will for yourself, at a price you can afford, and it only takes about 20 to 30 minutes to create.

A Will documents your wishes about who should settle your estate. It also states who will receive your property upon your death. Your Will is an important part of your estate planning and it’s where most people start.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made people more aware of the need for a Will and end-of-life planning. Yet according to a recent caring.com survey, only about 33% of Americans have an estate plan in place. That means 67% are leaving it up to the state, what will happen to them and their assets in case of death (or disability).

Deciding to prepare your Will is an important first step. But actually getting it prepared and properly signed, witnessed, and notarized is what really counts.

Getting Started

Start by gathering some personal information when starting your Will. Also, become acquainted with basic terms, which can include:

  • Estate:  Your estate includes what you own in your name. That could include your home and bank accounts, and your personal effects such as jewelry, furniture, and car.
  • Executor: You’ll need to name your Executor, who will work with the Court and your beneficiaries to settle your estate, by following your wishes stated in your Will. Generally, one spouse serves as the other’s Executor. And if there is no surviving spouse, one of the children is named.
  • Beneficiary: You’ll name who inherits your assets and personal belongings. Generally, the surviving spouse is the sole beneficiary. If the deceased has no surviving spouse then a typical Will leaves the estate to the children (or their descendants) in equal shares.
  • Guardian: If you have minor children, they will need a guardian if they have no surviving parent. Your Will names the people you trust to look after your children in that situation.
  • Trustee: Unless you indicate otherwise, your children could receive their inheritance when they turn age 18. To safeguard a child’s inheritance, it is possible to include a Trust in the Will that names a Trustee to look after the child’s inheritance until they are older, say 25 or 30. This is beyond a simple Will, but it may be something you want or even need to do for your children.

 Knowing who you’d want to name in your Will as beneficiaries is key. Also, you should name your Executor and a backup as well. Having that information handy will make the process of creating your will easier and quicker.

Where to Get Your Will Done

Now that you have decided to make a Will and gathered the preliminary information, writing your Will is next. On the other hand, you should hire an experienced lawyer if you have a complicated estate. That could include sizeable assets, beneficiaries who can’t manage money, a child with special needs, or other situations that require more planning.

For routine situations often the Will can be prepared online, which can save money.

Whether done online or by a lawyer’s office, a Will is effective only after it is signed according to North Carolina law.  That means the person must declare that they are mentally capable. In addition, the Will needs to be signed in front of at least 2 witnesses and notarized with a self-proving affidavit.

Wills that omit important language, or that are not properly executed can be invalid. Whether you have a lawyer prepare your Will or create it online, you want to make sure it correctly states your wishes and meets North Carolina law requirements.

Create Your Will Online

Creating a Will online is an option for routine estate planning for many people. Having your preliminary information about beneficiaries, Executors, and Guardians helps.

But making your own Will can be a scary process to go alone. That’s why at NC Estate Plans Online, we allow you to create your own Will using our online process. Then we also supervise your Will signing at The Elderlaw Firm’s attorney’s office to make sure your Will is fully and legally signed, witnessed, and notarized. You’ll also receive your signed originals and one set of copies, and that is all included in the price.

Get started now, because in 20 to 30 minutes or less you could feel better after you’ve created your Will, and you’ll have one less worry.

Topic: Wills

See: cnbc.com article: 67 Percent of Americans have No Estate Plan and Here’s How to Get Started on One