Wills & Estate Planning Fargo, Dickinson & Rapid City
While no one wants to think about it, we all come to an end eventually. Your loved ones may outlive you and need care long afterwards, though. You might want to leave your estate to an institution that is promoting a cause you believe in. You have a chance to make sure people you care about will be taken care of long after you have left this earth. If you are near our offices in West Fargo and Dickinson, North Dakota, all you have to do is know the basics of wills and get the right help.
Basics of Will Making In North Dakota
Any adult of sound mind can make a will, but the big question is what you do with it.
A will has a few uses. You can name the people and organizations who should get your property after you die, appoint a guardian for any minor children, add a person to manage that property for the child, and name a personal representative to carry out the terms of your will.
Once you have written out a will, the state of North Dakota gives you two options. You have two people witness you signing it and then sign it themselves reasonably soon after, and anyone can act as witness if they are competent enough to do the job. Even if someone is an interested party, they are allowed to act as witness. The other option, according to the North Dakota chapter 30.1-08, is that you can have it notarized. You can also have a ‘self-proving’ will, where you get your witnesses sign an affidavit in front of a notary public.
You can revoke your will by destroying the old copy and making a new one, or writing a new one that states clearly that you are revoking it.
If you die without a will, the courts will hand the estate over to the nearest relative. If they can’t find anyone related to you, the state keeps your money.
Who Can Be An Executor
An important element in the will is picking the right executor. For practical reasons, you will probably want the person in charge of distributing your estate once you die to live in North Dakota, though that is not required. What is required is that the person be over 18 and of sound mind. There are times that your executor could be accused of “unsuitable in formal proceedings,” and they’ll be given a formal hearing in front of everyone involved and decided on.
When To Get A Lawyer for Wills & Estate Planning
This can all get complicated fast. If you are divorced, for instance, the state will revoke any part involving your ex, so you will want to talk to a lawyer if you want your ex-spouse to inherit or act as executor. And what if there are questions about the person you want to act as executor?
Wills are emotional hot buttons for many people, and they often contest wills that they disagree with. It’s good to get a lawyer involved in writing the will from the start so that any language used can’t be misconstrued. It takes expertise to navigate the complicated matter of trusts and how dependents should be taken care of too.
This is why the attorneys at Schwab, Thompson & Frisk fight so hard for their clients. Many people have complicated estates and the desire to entrust their worldly goods only to people and institutions they believe will do right by them. With a great deal of practice in family, business, and estate law, we can help you make that happen.
The lawyers at our West Fargo, North Dakota and Dickinson, North Dakota offices have much experience in the sometimes tricky area of estate planning, and we look forward to using this experience on your behalf. For a free case evaluation, contact us.