• Blog Post

    Holographic Wills and Statutory Requirements to Modify Them

    The law distinguishes between typewritten wills, typically prepared by an attorney, and those which are handwritten by oneself. Handwritten wills, known as holographic wills, must meet the statutory requirements set forth by N.C Gen. Stat. S 31-3.4 (2015). These requirements include: (1) the will must be written entirely by hand by the testator; (2) must be subscribed by the testator;  and (3) must be found among the testator’s valuable papers or effects. In some cases after a will is drafted, whether by hand or typewritten, the testator my wish to make modifications. An addition or supplement that explains, modifies, or revokes a will, or part of a will, is a…

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    Florida Detectives attempt to unlock a cell phone with a dead man’s finger

    In today’s technology driven world it seems our phones are attached to our hips whether we like it or not. We are driven by the accessibility and connection that these tiny machines provide us. But what right do you have regarding your phone after your death? In March, Florida police pulled over Linus Phillips for illegally tinted windows.  Upon speaking with Mr. Phillips, Officer Steiner detected the smell of marijuana.  However, before Officer Steiner was able to perform a search of the vehicle, Mr. Phillips began driving in reverse.  Officer Steiner was dragged by the vehicle before he fired his weapon in self-defense and killed Mr. Phillips. Detectives wanted to…

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    Six Basic Questions and Answers about Executors

              If you have a will or have ever dealt with estate administration, you are probably familiar with the term “executor.”   However, most people don’t know what an executor is or what the executor’s role is.  Additionally, what do you do if you suspect an executor is behaving fraudulently or contrary to the deceased person’s wishes?   What is an executor?             An executor is a person or institution appointed to carry out the terms of a person’s will.  They are appointed by the person who wrote the will, the testator, to conclude the business and financial arrangements the testator had…

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    Four Legal Documents Dementia Patients Should Have in Place

          A diagnosis of dementia, which includes Alzheimer’s disease and other memory loss and/or cognitive reasoning disorders, is potentially devastating for both the patient and their family. Following a dementia diagnosis, it is important to execute these four essential planning documents to avoid further hardship in the form of costly court battles. (1) Durable Power of Attorney – A durable power of attorney allows the diagnosed person (the “principal”) to appoint another person (the “power of attorney”) to act on the principal’s behalf if and when the principal becomes incapacitated.  A power of attorney can have a wide range of authority and discretion, from paying bills to selling…

  • John C Lindley III
    Blog Post

    Six Ways to Challenge a Will’s Validity

              Wills must meet several basic requirements to be valid and enforceable under state law.  If any of the below factors are at work, then a will’s validity may be challenged.   (1) Undue Influence              Undue influence exists when a person uses coercion to influence the testator (the person creating a will) into executing a will that does not accurately reflect the testator’s true wishes.  There are several red flags to keep in mind if you are suspicious a loved one’s will is the product of undue influence.  Unusual dispositions of property, sickness and vulnerability of the testator to undue influence,…

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    What Happens if You Die Without a Will? Taking a Lesson from Prince

              On Tuesday, Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, filed an emergency motion in Carver County District Court requesting that the Court appoint a special administrator to gather and protect Prince’s assets.  She also claimed that, to the best of her knowledge, no will existed.  The assets are estimated to be worth $100 – $500 million and are comprised of real estate holdings, including his Paisley Park Complex outside of Minneapolis; his music catalog, including licensing rights for television, film, and commercials; and album sales.  It is estimated that in the week after his death, 2.8 million of his songs – and over 650,000 albums –  were sold…