You know that you have been thinking about it for some time now. In fact, at least once a week you tell yourself that you must schedule an appointment with an attorney in order to draft a will and other estate planning documents. What are you waiting for? Do not leave your legacy to chance or leave a mess for your loved ones to clean up.
Today (April 16th) is National Healthcare Decision Day. The goal that organizers envisioned for this day is to motivate individuals and families to start thinking and talking about advance care planning. One important aspect of that conversation should include a living will and the selection of an agent and backup agent to serve on your behalf if necessary. If you are interested in discussing your options and the law surrounding advance care planning contact one of Wright, Worley, Pope, Ekster & Moss, PLLC’s offices and schedule an appointment. For more information on National Healthcare Decision Day please check out the Organization’s link below.
National Healthcare Decision Day
By Rick Parrotte (Brunswick County & New Hanover County, North Carolina Attorney)
With Wedding Season in full bloom along the North Carolina and South Carolina Coast this article may prove informative to numerous individuals out there. The months preceding and following a marriage are an exciting and busy time in a couple’s life. Among the hustle and excitement, it is important for a newlywed couple to consider updating their estate plan. In North Carolina, in the event of your passing without a valid will, your estate will pass according to the intestacy statute. In order to ensure that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes, a will is required.
Update or draft a will.
Many newlyweds will want to update one’s spouse to his or her current will or execute a first Will that names one’s spouse as beneficiary. The issues become more complex and the need for a will may become even greater if the couple has children. Wills can name guardians for children, personal representatives for the estate, and dispose of specific personal property of loved ones. Testamentary trusts can be used to ensure children will not receive unfettered access to assets at a young or immature age. For these reasons, it is important for all people to have wills in North Carolina. After starting a new marriage is an excellent time to consider updating your estate plan.
Review your insurance.
Certain assets pass outside of the probate process in North Carolina. These include assets in retirement accounts and insurance policies, such as life insurance. One should make any necessary updates to his or her named beneficiaries on these accounts and policies in order to carry out any current wishes in the event of one’s untimely passing. Those entering into second or subsequent marriages should pay close attention to this task, but this is applicable to all newlyweds.
Look into powers of attorney and similar documents.
Powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, and health care directives (also often referred to as “living wills”), are all also important documents that spouses should consider having drafted by a qualified attorney. The power of attorney will allow a spouse to control the financial affairs of the other in the event of that spouse’s incapacity. Health care powers of attorney can allow a named representative to make health care decisions on behalf of another. A “living will” allows a person to state how they want his or her medical treatment to take place in certain situations.
Inform your loved one of any pertinent financial and legal information.
It is also vital to share important financial information with the other. For example, the existence and location of a safety deposit box or important documents such as deeds, titles, life insurance policies, etc., are very important for your spouse to know in the event of your passing. This is particularly important if one spouse is the primary bookkeeper.
Double-check your insurance.
Finally, couples should review each insurance policy in order to determine if additional coverage is required or perhaps a new policy. Couples that were formerly living apart may need greater content’s coverage when two households combine under one roof. In addition, couples should review liability insurance and consult with a qualified insurance professional.
Last but not least, make sure the wedding ring is adequately insured.
For more information contact one of Wright, Worley, Pope, Ekster & Moss, PLLC's offices and set up a consultation.
Wright, Worley, Pope, Ekster & Moss, PLLC