Estate planning involves creating a strategy for the disposition of your property after your death. Why is estate planning important? If you do not currently have a will in place, your estate assets will be passed according to North Carolina intestate succession laws upon your passing, and the result may not be what you would have expected or wanted. A wills, trusts and estates attorney in Broadway North Carolina can help you devise an effective estate plan to conserve your assets for your loved ones. Consult with a wills, trusts and estates attorney in Broadway North Carolina and start planning for the future today.
In the event that you pass away without a will, your property will pass to your next of kin according to North Carolina intestate succession laws. A surviving relative must outlive you by 120 hours in order to inherit your property under these laws. Your family members are entitled to inherit their intestate share of your property even if they are not citizens or legal aliens in the United States. If you do not have a spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, or cousins, your property will “escheat”, and pass to the state in the absence of a will stating otherwise.
Generally, only assets that you own in your name alone will pass according to intestate succession laws. However, there are some assets that directly transfer to a surviving co-owner or beneficiary, and therefore are not affected by these laws. Such assets include:
- property held in a living trust;
- life insurance proceeds;
- funds in an IRA, 401(k), or other retirement account;
- securities held in a transfer-on-death account;
- payable-on-death bank accounts; or
- property co-owned as a joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety.
Contact a local wills, trusts and estates attorney for more information about North Carolina estate planning.