Wills

Assets Not Distributed According to One’s Will

Posted on: September 2nd, 2015
Keeping one’s last will and testament and other estate planning documents up-to-date is a critical part of maintaining one’s estate plan. However, merely creating and updating one’s estate planning documents is not enough, by itself, to adequately provide for distribution of every asset....

August is National Make-a-Will Month

Posted on: August 13th, 2015
An increasing number of Americans fail to plan appropriately for the future needs of themselves and their families, both through inadequate retirement savings as well as neglected estate planning. August is Make-a-Will Month...

Avoid a Will Dispute

Posted on: May 26th, 2015
An individual’s last will and testament might clearly reflect one’s wishes, but it does not prevent an estate dispute. Successfully contesting a will in North Carolina (and similarly in other states) requires evidence of certain factors. ...

The Jolly Testator

Posted on: October 27th, 2011
Written by Lord Neaves centuries ago, but true to this day: Ye lawyers who live upon litigants’ fees, And who need a good many to live at your ease, ...

A Funny Question to Ask a Lawyer

Posted on: May 3rd, 2011
My blog has a function that allows readers to comment on a post. In the vast majority of cases, however, the comments are actually questions by those trying to avoid having to pay a lawyer to assist or advise them. ...

Depictions of “Reading of the Will” are an Anachronism

Posted on: February 12th, 2011
Modern day movies and television commercials (including a recent one by DirecTV) sometimes feature a lawyer reading the will of a deceased testator to his family. Occasionally I even get questions about the ceremony. ...

What’s Involved in Serving as Executor?

Posted on: October 6th, 2010
If you’re asked to serve as the executor of an estate, think carefully about the decision before accepting the position. Acting as an executor or administrator of an estate can involve a great deal of work, depending on assets and the complexity of the estate....

Online Wills Are Risky

Posted on: September 7th, 2010
I came across this article by lawyer and journalist Deborah L .Jacobs, The Case Against Do-It-Yourself Wills, on Forbes.com today. While I think the article sends an important message, I take issue with some of what Jacobs, and even nationally known attorney Jonathan Blattmachr have to say:...

NC Law on Intrepretation of Estate Tax Clauses for 2010 Decedents

Posted on: September 1st, 2010
This year, of course, there is no federal estate tax. However, many Wills and Trusts drafted in the past contain formula clauses based on the existence of the federal estate and/or generation-skipping transfer tax....

NC Law Requiring Name of Drafting Attorney on Wills Clarified

Posted on: August 27th, 2010
Effective January 1, 2010 North Carolina law required (1) that a Will prepared by an attorney contain the name of the attorney as the drafter;...

NC General Assembly Considering Bill to Address Issue of Outdated Wills and Trusts of Those Dying in 2010

Posted on: May 20th, 2010
With no estate tax in 2010, the prospects of reinstatement diminishing daily, and the ever more probable $1 million exemption in 2011, my staff has been working hard to notify our existing clients that they should come to have their wills or trusts updated....

Does Your Will Waive Bond for the Executor?

Posted on: January 5th, 2010
The following is a guest post by Chris Birk of SuretyBonds.com, which also publishes the Surety Bond Insider:...

Does Your Will Waive Bond for the Executor?

Posted on: January 5th, 2010
The following is a guest post by Chris Birk of SuretyBonds.com, which also publishes the Surety Bond Insider:...

Is Your Will a “Turkey”? 6 Ways to Tell

Posted on: November 21st, 2009
Thanksgiving is less than a week away, but many people currently have turkeys of a different kind – poorly drafted Wills. If your Will is missing one or more of these features, it’s time for an update:...

Online Wills – You Get What You Pay For

Posted on: November 16th, 2009
Last Thursday’s Wall Street Journal’s website featured an article on online estate planning programs: Before It’s Too Late: A Test of Online Wills. As you might imagine, I’m not a big fan of do-it-yourself estate planning, particularly for those who have substantial assets. ...

Wills – are You Aware or Blissfully Ignorant?

Posted on: November 2nd, 2009
Last week was National Estate Planning Awareness Week – I’m sure most of us didn’t know that, but awareness about the necessity of estate planning is pitifully low, so anything that can be done to help folks realize that it’s important to plan for the future is good....

Regular Updates to Will Important

Posted on: October 22nd, 2009
This article from WSJ online on the effect on changing estate tax exemptions on what’s left for the surviving spouse describes just one reason why....

Put Your Parents in Your Will?

Posted on: August 25th, 2009
This article discusses when it might be appropriate to include your parents or grandparents in your will or living trust – generally when you are providing support for them. ...

Changes to Effect of Will Caveat on Probate Proceeding

Posted on: July 20th, 2009
Beginning October 1, 2009, when a lawsuit is filed to contest a Will (Caveat), the probate administration will no longer be fully suspended until the caveat is resolved. ...

Bequests Under Will to Drafting Attorney to be Prohibited

Posted on: July 20th, 2009
Beginning January 1, 2010, it will be unlawful for North Carolina attorneys to prepare a Will or Codicil naming the attorney as a beneficiary unless the attorney is within five degrees of kinship of the testator, a present or former spouse of the testator, or a parent, sibling or child of a spouse or former spouse of the testator....

How Much Do You Charge for a Will?

Posted on: June 8th, 2009
That’s a question we hear frequently from callers to the office. While we like to be able to answer that question quickly and easily, that’s not possible. My favorite lawyer’s answer applies: "well, it depends." ...

Survey Finds Over Two-Thirds of Americans Lack a Will

Posted on: May 31st, 2007
As reported in the Lincoln Journal Star, a recent survey by the website LegalZoom found that over 70% of Americans do not have a last will and testament. ...