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Harwell Law Firm, P.A.

1300 South Blvd., Suite K-129, Charlotte, NC 28203 (704)749-3125
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Problems with out of state Wills and accounts opened in other states

Over the years of my practice, we have found ways around some of the common problems with wills and other documents prepared in states other than North Carolina. Most of these problems could have been prevented if the clients revised or updated their wills and other estate planning documents when they moved to North Carolina. Generally, updating or even redoing the documents is much less expensive than figuring out how to probate a will in North Carolina that does not conform to the North Carolina requirements for a self proving will.

The common problems include issues such as, wills from Florida failing to say that the person signing the will is over the age of 18 and wills from New Jersey that do not contain a notary stamp.

Recently, I came across a new situation and realized that not only do estate planning documents from other states need to be reviewed, but also how accounts opened in other states are titled. Here in North Carolina, most joint accounts are joint with rights of survivorship. This is apparently not true in Georgia. According to a Bank of America employee at a branch in Georgia where the account of one of my clients was opened many years ago, most accounts in Georgia are joint without rights of survivorship. Therefore, the client, whose husband had died, was required to place one half of the amount in her joint checking account into the account for her husband’s estate or prove that the money was originally hers and not his.

The example above shows that it is very important to review assets and account details along with wills and other estate planning documents when people move to North Carolina from other state.