Creating and executing a valid will is an important legal step for every Rocky Mount resident. This is because through a will a person may set out their intentions for the disposition of their wealth and property in the event of their death. While state intestacy laws may sort out these matters in the absence of a will most individuals prefer to make their intentions known and see their assets given to the individuals and organizations of their own choosing.
A person who creates a will is called a testator and generally for that person’s will to be valid they must have two witnesses sign the document. The witnesses must sign in the presence of the testator, but there is no requirement that they sign at the same time. The witnesses can therefore sign the testator’s will in the absence of each other.
In North Carolina, a holographic will may be recognized as well. A holographic will is one in which the testator wrote out by hand and that, despite a lack of witnesses, is found with the important papers of the testator or in a secure location like a safety deposit box. The requirements that the document be written and not typed and found with the testator’s other items, or in their control help support that the will can be properly attributed to the presumptive testator.
In some cases, a will may be challenged if relatives of the testator believe that the testator was pressured or coerced into creating the document. These and other will questions should be posed to a knowledgeable estate planning attorney who is familiar with the pending legal matters. This post is only an introduction to the topic of wills and readers should not rely on it as legal advice.