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There is much you need to consider when planning your estate and just thinking
about it may feel overwhelming. This is not something you need to figure
out alone. The will lawyers of Miller Bowles Cushing can help you manage
your estate and plan your will so that every last detail will be taken
care of. Our team is vastly experienced in estate planning and knows which
assets and details people frequently overlook when making these important
decisions. Call us today at (704) 810-1400 to start discussing your
estate. Here at Miller Bowles Cushing we offer you an estate planning
and will attorney in Charlotte, NC with the experience, skill, and dedication
to help with your North Carolina Will, Living Will, or Healthcare Power
Call us at (704) 810-1400 or
contact us to schedule a consultation with an estate planning and will attorney in
Charlotte, NC today.
Last Will and Testament
Your last will and testament will act as the final say on how your assets
and debts are distributed. Any person of sound mind, and 18 years of age
or over, may make a Will. You do not need an attorney to start drafting
your will, but it will need to be signed by the testator and attested
by at least two competent witnesses, and notarized by a notary public.
If you pass away without a Will, your estate will pass through the intestacy
statute, which provides for how your estate will be distributed to your
heirs and lineal descendants, including your:
Any other family members
Leaving out details in a will often leads to fighting amongst relatives
later on, which is why many people enlist a lawyer’s assistance.
Your Will should provide for the disposition of your real property and
personal property, and can even provide for a trust fund to be created
for pets under North Carolina law. Certain types of accounts and property
cannot be passed through a Will. This could include life insurance benefits,
retirement benefits, and any other accounts or property which contains
its own beneficiary designation.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
By appointing someone as your healthcare power of attorney, you are giving
them the ability to make healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event
you are unable to speak for yourself during a medical crisis. These decisions
are entrusted to a person whom the principal believes will be willing
and able to make medical decisions as they would make for themselves if
the agent were able to speak for themselves in the situation.
This person who is appointed is called a health care agent. The agent is
typically a close relative or family friend, and can also be a doctor
who is familiar with the principal’s health history. The principal
can set limitations on the health care agent’s powers, and can also
provide that the health care agent’s decisions will override any
directives in their Living Will. As a health care agent, you are not promising
or guaranteeing that you will make the final decisions in the event you
are called to do so.
As long as you know you are appointed as someone’s health care agent,
you should keep the principal informed and updated on all your current
contact information, including your cell phone number and mailing address.
If you ever change your mind about your willingness or ability to act
as a health care agent, you should contact the principal as soon as possible
so that he or she may make any necessary updates or changes to their Healthcare
Power of Attorney.
In recent years there has been much discussion about what to do with a
person who is in need of life-prolonging medical care, but has little
chance of ever waking. A living will can help prevent this dilemma. In
a living will, you have the opportunity to give doctors instructions regarding
your medical care in the event that you are rendered incapable of doing
so in person. You may have heard of this referred to as an advance directive,
health care directive, or a physician’s directive, but they all
serve the same purpose. You should talk to your doctor about what the
terms in the Living Will mean. It is also advisable to talk to your family
members, friends, and others you trust about your choices.
Living Wills and Healthcare Power of Attorney appointments are often executed
together, and can provide for either to “trump” the other
in the event both are available in situations in which you are unable
to make your own wishes known. We encourage clients to register their
Living Will with the Secretary of State so that your wishes can be accessed
easily by your healthcare providers.
To create a solid will that covers all the important details, call the
Charlotte estate planning attorneys from our team here at Miller Bowles.
You can reach us at (704) 810-1400.
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