North Carolina Law Blog

How to estate plan after a remarriage

If you are in your second or subsequent marriage and you and your spouse have decided that now is the time to firm up your estate plans, you will want to learn as much as you can about a range of tools that might be appropriate for your situation. For blended families in North Carolina, a simple will may not be the recommended approach to an estate plan as it may not be able to accommodate all the complexities involved in the varying familial relationships.

As described by Forbes, great care is required when you need to balance leaving assets for your biological children and taking care of your spouse should you be the one to die first. There are specific types of trusts that may help you achieve your goal of providing for your spouse but still ensuring that some assets are left for your children after your spouse dies. Even if your spouse and your children have positive relationships now, you cannot foretell how things might change after your death when discussions turn to who will be inheriting what.

Is estate planning necessary for young people?

As a young North Carolina resident, you may not think you need a will if you do not yet have children or significant financial assets. However, there are many important benefits to estate planning, no matter how old you are. Taking the time to create an estate plan makes it possible for you to have more control over your medical care, digital assets and other property.

North Carolina allows you to make a will if you are at least 18 years old and are of sound mind. Additionally, this state is one of the few that allows handwritten wills, as long as you write and sign it yourself and keep it in a safe place with your other valuables. If you choose to create a handwritten will, it may receive more intense scrutiny than an official typed document.

Who should you choose to be your executor?

Your estate – your property and assets along with your debts that you leave behind after you die – is one of the most challenging legal situations you might never find yourself in.

The status of your estate may not matter to you after you shuffle off this mortal coil, but it will matter to those who are left behind. That’s why you need to name a qualified executor for your estate.

Advantages of choosing an LLC business structure

As an upcoming North Carolina business owner, one of the most crucial decisions you must make is how you want to structure your company. This is dependent on several factors such as how you want you want to get taxed, how many owners there are and how much liability you think each owner should have when it comes to legal issues.

While there are several ways to structure your business, new owners should consider starting a limited liability company (LLC). This entity offers a level of flexibility few other structures can offer for newcomers when it comes to taxes and liability. Aspiring entrepreneurs should know what benefits are available from this structure as they are considering their options.

Taking legal action after a crash and the statute of limitations

After a motor vehicle collision, all sorts of questions may surface for victims and those they love. For example, people may be unsure of what to do about the wreck, and whether or not legal action is an avenue that should be explored. To make things more complicated, many people are dealing with other hardships during this time, such as painful injuries and financial costs due to medical care. For some car crash victims, legal action is extremely important and filing suit can help them restore some of what they have lost. However, it is crucial to be mindful of the statute of limitations.

Unfortunately, some people may push off legal action for so long that they are no longer able to move forward with a lawsuit. This can be incredibly devastating, and victims may never be able to access the benefits they truly need. To make things more complicated, it can be difficult to determine exactly how much a car accident victim was affected by the crash. For example, brain injuries may be undetectable until months or maybe even years later. Someone who discovers that they sustained brain damage in the crash may no longer be able to do anything about it from a legal perspective.

Can a field sobriety test prove intoxication?

If you are like most people in North Carolina, you are aware that before a person is arrested for suspected drunk driving, they are commonly asked to take certain tests at the site where they were initially stopped by officers. These tests are called field sobriety tests and while the outcome of the tests may influence whether or not a person is charged with a driving while intoxicated offense, they cannot actually prove that a person is impaired.

As explained by, there are three tests approved for use by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. None of these tests are able to prove that a person is drunk or even to determine a level of intoxication. Instead, the purpose of the field sobriety tests is simply to gather enough evidence to show that a driver might possibly be impaired. This evidence is then used to support an arrest. In a way, you can think of it like probable cause.

When should you expect resistance from your ex on child support?

Child custody is a touchy subject when it comes to divorce proceedings. It is often one of the most intense parts that doesn’t always leave both parties satisfied in the end. Most of the time, the father ends up with the undesired outcome. According to Custody X Change, divorced North Carolina fathers on average get around 28 percent of the year to spend with their kids.

To make matters worse for them, most are also required to pay child support until the kid becomes an adult. It may help with the child’s development and the sole custody parent’s situation, but it is can be frustrating for these parents to continue paying for someone that they rarely see. This as well as other potential factors could lead them to stop paying for support altogether. It is important to recognize when this is most likely to occur so you know what to do when you stop receiving your child support paychecks.

When road rage turns deadly

North Carolina motorists are used to sharing the road with motorcyclists, tractor trailers and other vehicles. The busy streets, however, can be frustrating to those who are on their way to work or are rushing to an important appointment. Data released by AAA showed that nearly 80 percent of drivers across the country admit to engaging in aggressive driving at some point in their life. It can be easy to get caught up in rushing from place to place, that people may forget about the importance of safety and the rules of the road. It is in these situations that deadly car accidents occur.

It is important that drivers are able to spot the signs of an aggressive driver, so they can avoid becoming involved in a catastrophic car accident. Signs of a road raged driver may include the following:

  •          Speeding and racing other vehicles
  •          Erratic horn honking, yelling obscenities and using hand gestures
  •          Switching between lanes, cutting off other vehicles
  •          Pulling out in front of other vehicles
  •          Running through traffic lights, signs and pedestrian crosswalks

Understanding constructive possession

At Daughtry Woodard Lawrence & Starling in North Carolina, we defend numerous people facing drug charges. One of the ways we often can get the charges dismissed, usually long before the case goes to trial, is via the doctrine of constructive possession. We thought our blog readers might like to know about this little known legal doctrine.

In order to convict you of any kind of drug crime, the prosecutor must first prove that you possessed, owned, or at least controlled the drugs that law enforcement officers allegedly recovered from you. And (s)he must prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

Two big mistakes drivers will make after a car crash

A car accident can bring out a wide array of emotions within you all at once. Anger at the other driver, confusion at what to do next, fear of how it will affect your insurance or even relief that you are alive. One of these dominant feelings can make it difficult for you to focus on what you need to do afterwards to receive coverage for your damages and personal injuries.

Many North Carolina drivers have lost out on thousands of dollars of compensation after a crash because they either forgot to do something or approached a task the wrong way. If you want to recover safely, you need to avoid the following mistakes most people make after an accident.

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