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North Carolina Estate Planning

By law, you must be at least 18 years old and "of sound mind" to create a last will and testament in North Carolina. You might think, "Someone that young doesn't need a will," but the fact is, most adults would benefit from a will or other estate planning tools. Talk to an estate planning attorney today to discuss how you could benefit from estate planning.

When Do You Need a Last Will & Testament?

The last will and testament is among the most common of the estate planning documents. Other commonly used estate planning tools include:

  • A living trust, which may be used in addition to or in place of a last will and testament
  • A financial power of attorney, which lets you empower someone else to handle legal and financial tasks on your behalf
  • A healthcare power of attorney, which lets you empower someone else to make medical decisions on your behalf if you're incapacitated
  • A living will, which allows you to explain your wishes regarding end-of-life treatment

The majority of adults in North Carolina don't have a last will and testament—but almost every adult should have one. A last will and testament is a document used to explain how your estate (assets such as money, real estate and personal property) should be distributed after your death. It can also be used to name a legal guardian for your minor children and to name an executor to manage your estate after you die.

You should have a last will and testament if:

  • You are a parent and have children under the age of 18, or
  • You have assets and don't want them distributed according to North Carolina intestacy laws, or
  • You want to leave a bequest to a charity

Find & Hire Local North Carolina Estate Planning Attorneys offers a free, no-obligation service that can help you locate estate planning lawyers and probate attorneys across North Carolina, including lawyers in Charlotte, Raleigh and Winston-Salem. Fill out the form on this page to use our free lawyer referral service, or call us at 877-913-7222. We'll ask you a few simple questions, then quickly match you with a lawyer in your area.