Protecting what matters
For centuries, the Last Will & Testament has been the go-to for estate planning. In many states, including North Carolina, even a handwritten Will (holographic Will) is legally recognized. It remains the most highly recognized estate planning tool in the field. Often, clients say, “I just need a simple Will.” That may or may not be the case. Either way, the Will is an effective base on which an estate plan can be built. Generally, simpler that a Trust, a Will is a document that allows the owner decide who to give what to, when and how. Less expensive than a Trust, and easier to understand, Wills do not become effective until they are “proven” or subject to the probate process, where a court of proper jurisdiction, proved the Will to be authentic. The public probate process, can end up being both costly and require months of time to complete. Even so, a Will does make sense for some with simple estates or those using probate-avoidance strategies.