GREENSBORO, NC -- There are plenty of myths out there when it comes to wills, debt, and if who will take care of your kids if you pass away. Attorney Blaire Mclanahan is helping 2WTK separate fact from fiction.
FACT OR FICTION: Your parents passed away owing a lot of credit card and medical debt. Since you're the next of kin, you are now responsible for their debt.
"Debt does not follow people in death. The only exceptions are if your name is also on the account."
FACT OR FICTION: I don't have a will, but I told my friends and family who the kids should be left with.
A conversation is enough to make my sure my wishes are granted.
"Nope. A conversation isn't enough. You need to have it on paper. Even then, it is the court's decision. Guardians are nominated in the will by the last parent to die. The courts will give preference but are not bound by it. If the court determines the best interest of the child would be served by another choice. It is not a guarantee."
FACT OR FICTION: If you have a will, you avoid probate court.
"ALL wills will go through probate, which is why it is so important that it is done correctly. Probate can take anywhere from 9 months to 24 months."
It's estimated 60% of North Carolinians do not have any estate planning documents. Mclanahan says you should expect to pay at least several hundred dollars for a lawyer to prepare a will.
Need to talk to a lawyer, for FREE? Friday. March 4th is 4ALL Service Day. From 7 am to 7 pm attorneys are volunteering their services to answer your questions. WFMY News 2 will give you the number to call
starting on the Good Morning.