WILLS & TRUSTS

Chapter 31 of the North Carolina General Statutes regulates Wills and Trusts in North Carolina, while a small set of subsequent chapters addresses various related issues, including Powers of Attorney and fiduciary duties. In Chapter 31, you will find information on the valid execution of Wills, or conversely, how to revoke a Will. Additionally, the chapter also regulates issues like Will witnesses, appropriately placed signatures, and self-proved Wills. Furthermore, in South Carolina, Wills, and more broadly, estates, are governed under Title 62 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. Here, you will find Wills, intestate succession, and trusts. Below I added a few of the services we offer.

1. Last will and testament

Larsen Weaver will prepare this document on your behalf that disposes of all of your personal and real property. It also will name a Guardian and Trustee for minor children and explains who will handle the disposition of your estate upon your passing.

2. Living will

We can also prepare your living will, commonly called an Advanced Directive. This document unequivocally states what methods of life support, nutrition, and hydration you desire should your health deteriorate prior to the events that led to incapacitation. It should be your choice. We can help make it at the right time.

3. Durable Power of Attorney

N.C.G.S. § 32A-1 allows individuals to create a power of attorney for certain matters. A durable financial power of attorney names who you desire to handle your financial matters should you be incapable of handling them yourself. It can be an extremely infuriating process should that happen without granting an individual the power to make decisions. Protect your interests and those of your family's with appointing a power of attorney for any and all of your properties.

4. Healthcare Power of Attorney

If you are unable to communicate your desires, this document directs healthcare providers on your preferred course of treatment. It works alongside your living will to let you and your family choose these matters with dignity and grace.

At Larsen Weaver, we can offer services that can assure your property is passed down according to your exact wishes, whether that means it goes to your children, grandchildren, or your favorite charity. We can also provide services that are needed on both sides of the NC and SC border because we are a North and South Carolina firm. So, if you live in the greater Mecklenburg area and are hoping to pass down the property you’ve accumulated throughout your life, we are interested in helping you.

Moreover, Attorney Jacob Larsen operates a nonprofit that provides Wills to people who are going on Mission Trips. Although the idea isn’t revolutionary, it has value. Moreover, Attorney Jacob Larsen was inspired after Charlotte Missionary Nancy Writebol contracted Ebola while doing mission work abroad. That combined with the unrest in various parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia make the services a valuable contribution to our community. Jacob wants to help people abroad while he’s working here in Charlotte and has set up a nonprofit company to address the issue. If you are going on a mission trip abroad or have friends and family who are, please contact Larsen Weaver to discuss how we can help.

Finally, one of the most commonly looked over aspects of Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney, or Health Care Powers of Attorneys is how to address their safe-keeping, and services like LegalZoom don’t address this important step. So, below I have provided information on how to do so, and if you need an attorney to draft the document for you, Larsen Weaver can help.

Last Will and Testament

In North Carolina, the Clerk of Superior Court in each county must keep a depository in which someone may file his or her will for safekeeping. This depository is not open to the public except for the testator/testatrix (you) and your authorized agent. You are not required to file your will with the Clerk of Superior Court; however, you are welcome to do for safekeeping.

Otherwise, you should keep your will in a safe location and make the executors, guardians, and others named in your will aware of where the will can be found in the event of your death. Many people consider keeping their will and other important documents in a safe deposit box; however, it can be extremely difficult for others to gain access to the box in the event of your demise or incapacity. A fireproof box or other secure location may be a better option.

Health Care Power of Attorney

You may register your NC Health Care Power of Attorney with the Secretary of State’s Office, which will put the document into an online database. This can be done by completing the registration form, which can be found at www.secretary.state.nc.us/ahcdr, and sending it in to the Secretary of State’s Office with your Health Care Power of Attorney and a $10.00 fee. The document does not have to be registered to be effective; however, registering the document does give your medical care providers easy access to the documents.

You may also give copies of the Health Care Power of Attorney to your doctor and hospital if you know about upcoming treatment/medical procedures or if you just wish to have a copy in your medical file. You should either give a copy to the person(s) named as your attorney in fact, or at least make the person(s) aware of where they can find the document if it is needed. You should keep track of the documents and number of copies handed out in case you ever want to later change or revoke the document.

 Durable Power of Attorney

 All Durable Powers of Attorney must be recorded with the NC Register of Deeds office for the county in which the principal resides (should be the county listed on the document) once the principal (you) is found to be incapacitated. Otherwise the Power of Attorney will not be valid. The Power of Attorney can be recorded now or upon incapacity.

If the Durable Power of Attorney is effective as of signing and the principal is not incapacitated, it is not required that the document be recorded with the Register of Deeds office; however, many businesses and financial institutions will likely require that the document be recorded before they accept the document. If you do not intend to use the document anytime soon, you are always welcome to wait before recording the document. If you do record the document and then later decide to revoke it, note that you must file a revocation of the Durable Power of Attorney with the Register of Deeds office.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

In North Carolina, divorce or separation does not automatically revoke a Power of Attorney. If you have named your spouse as your attorney-in-fact, and you later get separated and/or divorced, you must revoke your current Power of Attorney in order to take away the power granted to your spouse.