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No one likes to think about needing a will. Most people need to consider having wills and other documents drafted that will help protect their wishes and those of their family, partners and friends.

While do-it-yourself kits and fill-in-the blank will forms abound, most people need careful, professional drafting assistance to protect their final wishes in the specific ways that they choose.Without a will, the law presumes that you will favor even the most distant blood relatives over all others, including charitable organizations and close friends.

Executing a formal will in a lawyer's office before witnesses is your best protection for your specific wishes.

There are several reasons for you to consider executing a will.

The primary reason for you to make a will is to dispose of your property in a manner in keeping with your wishes, allowing you to leave your property to whomever you want, and to exclude those you don't.

In your will, you can provide for your memorial arrangements, leave special instructions for the disposal of your remains, and provide for the care of others, such as children or even pets, after your death.

Additionally, you can save time, money, and additional stress for your loved ones by waiving certain requirements for your executor. Probating a properly drafted will can be less costly for your estate than administering an estate without a will.

Finally, you have the peace of mind that you have prepared a thoughtful plan for those you love.

Dying without a will, or "dying intestate," triggers a statutory scheme for disposing of your property. A legal spouse, children, and parents could all inherit from you, or if none of them survive you, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles would likely inherit your estate. If no relative is found fitting the description under the statute, your estate "escheats" to the state of North Carolina, as a last resort. This means that your partner, friends, or even a favorite charity would have no ability to inherit anything from you. Generally, a written will is required for anyone not related to you by blood or a legal marriage to have a claim to an estate asset.

Additionally, you can specify in your will your wishes for the care of any minor children you might have at the time of your death. While child custody is ultimately determined by the court, your specific wishes as stated in your will as to whom you would like to raise your children will receive great deference by a judge.

Your first step in this process is to contact Lisa M. Logan, Attorney, and request a "Preliminary Will Information Sheet." She will need to have your mailing address in order to send it out. While there is no cost to getting this sent to you, you may also request an estimate of the cost for the completed will. She is happy to discuss costs with clients without obligation to proceed.

Text © 2000 Lisa M. Logan. All Rights Reserved.
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