Are you ready to get started with your estate plan, but unsure of how to work things out as a married couple? Many people are confused about last will and testament documents and whether or not they should have separate or joint wills. Today, our lawyer in Raleigh NC is going to continue talking about this and hopefully answer any questions you might have. Be sure to visit back with our previous blog post as well.
Wills for Married Couples | Lawyer in Raleigh NC
A will is a document created to aid the transfer of property owned at death. It allows this to happen legally as well as states who you’d like to transfer your belongings to. No matter what type of will you have, joint or separate, you can only transfer property and belongings you own; not that of your spouse. This means that they will need their own will, stating their wishes at death. As we mentioned in our previous blog post, typically upon death one spouse will leave their belongings to the surviving spouse and then, upon their death, leave it to their children or other loved ones.
Joint wills aren’t typically common. If there are joint wills in place, it’s likely they were put in place years previously, when they were a bit more common. In most cases today, a lawyer in Raleigh NC should help you prepare separate wills for married couples.
Joint wills are potentially problematic as, once the first spouse passes, there’s no legal way to change their individual will. The executor, beneficiaries, tax plans and other documented wishes cannot be changed. It’s essentially locked.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t change from a joint will to separate ones, before an untimely death occurs. If you’ve realized that your current will is a joint one, and you’d like to speak with our lawyer in Raleigh NC to explore other options, consider contacting us to make an appointment for consultation. We are here to help in any way we can.
Learning about wills might be overwhelming and confusing for you and your spouse. In order to make sure you’re aware of your options, visit back with our next blog post. We will continue discussing the various options for married couples.
Klish and Eldreth | Lawyer in Raleigh NC
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Visit with other blogs in this series, below:
- Should Married Couples Have a Joint Last Will and Testament or Individual? Part One
- Should Married Couples Have a Joint Last Will and Testament or Individual? Part Two