Wills & Trusts

One of the many steps in Estate Planning is the process of setting up a Will and/or Trust(s) to provide instructions for how the courts will distribute your possessions and other assets, determine care for children under 18 or others under your care, and other important wishes, in the event of your death.

Laws vary from state to state; if you live in the Triangle NC, whether you’ve recently relocated or have lived here all your life, we can help you sort through the options and determine the right preparations for you and your family, which may include one or more of the following:

  • Simple Will
  • Wills with Testamentary Trusts
  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Charitable Trust

A properly prepared and regularly updated Will helps give you peace of mind, and can relieve many of the stressors and burdens that would otherwise be laid on your family members at a time when they will already be dealing with paperwork, decisions, and of course, grief.

Here in North Carolina, when someone dies, the courts look to the deceased’s will and/or trust documents for guidance on what to distribute and to whom. Real estate or land, investments, bank accounts, cars, insurance, jewelry and other possessions all will pass on; if there is no will (and in the case of certain specific properties), all possessions will pass to someone in the family according to state intestacy laws.

Without a specific plan, in the form of a legal will and/or trust, distribution of assets may not go according to your wishes, and will surely be more difficult and time-consuming for your heirs. Yet creating a will is a relatively inexpensive and quick process. Our caring and knowledgeable staff at the Law Office of Janna M. Wallace will help you think through the many important questions that your will and/or trust should answer, so that you can rest easily, and know that your family will rest easily too.

Please contact us for counsel in reviewing and/or setting up your wills and any appropriate trusts.

North Carolina Intestacy Law

If there is no will, all possessions will pass to someone in the family according the following guidelines:

  • If you are married, under current statutes, all estate property would be divided between your spouse and your children.
  • If you are not married, your estate property would pass to your children, of if you have no children, to your parents and if they are not living, to siblings.
  • If you are separated, this will have no effect upon the disposition of your property, whether by Will or in accordance with North Carolina laws, unless you have made alternate provisions in a legal Separation Agreement signed by both parties.
  • If you are legally divorced, North Carolina law will usually treat the ex-spouse as having pre-deceased you.
  • If no direct family member can be located, then the assets will be sold or liquidated.