Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in North Carolina

What is considered legal

My husband and I are going to be travelling in the next week. We do not have a will and don't have time to make one. What kind of written document can we leave to provide for our estate and 2 minor children in the event we are killed? What type of authentification would it need?

Asked on 1/08/03, 3:42 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Tate Davis Davis Elder & Disability Law Services

Re: What is considered legal

To be legally binding, you would have to have a will. Without one, your estate would pass according to the "intestacy" laws of the State. Child custody or the appointment of a guardian would be handled by the local court. Although you can attempt to draft your own will, most people make mistakes in such attempts (like failing to excuse the executor from paying bond or failing to include a residuary...everything else...clause) and I would not recommend that you try to do so.

I would advise that in the future you prepare a will and do so when you and your husband have plenty of time to carefully consider how you would want your estate to be distributed. Sometimes a "rush" will is worse than no will at all.

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Answered on 1/08/03, 4:25 pm


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