Reviewing your estate documents is not something you need to do alone. We recommend reaching out to a local attorney who is proficient in estate planning and the laws. When we talk with our clients about estate documents, we are generally referring to their last will of testament; living will; medical and health care powers of attorney; and trust documents. There may be more documents involved in an estate plan but these are typically the main ones.
When you review estate documents, the attorney will make sure the right legal language is in the documents. Here is a sample of some questions to ask yourself as you are reviewing your documents:
1. Have any new children or grandchildren been born that you would like to add to the documents?
2. Have there been any deaths or changes to current people listed in the documents?
3. Have you moved away from your attorney in fact? Moved closer to someone you wish to be your attorney in fact?
4. Are you moving because you are newly single from a divorce/death?
5. Are you moving to or from a community property state?
When people move, their documents are generally still valid between state lines. Every state/country has different laws and if something were to happen it is good to make sure they are up-to-date to eliminate any confusion and to ensure everything goes as smooth as it can. If you do not currently have any estate documents completed, now is a great time to get them done. Read my related article, “Do You Need and Estate Plan?”
Unfortunately, we do not draft any legal documents or provide legal advice. If you need estate planning documents, or are new to the North Carolina area, we have a list of local attorneys we work with and would be happy to share the names if you want someone to review estate documents.
Roger A. James, Jr., JD, CTFA
Partner, Director of Trust Services