Every person should have a will to insure that his or her wishes will be carried out after death. Unfortunately, just telling a family member "I want Uncle Dan to have my collection of antique cars” does not mean that will happen unless a will exists.
A drafted will guarantees that your final wishes for the transfers of your remaining assets are fulfilled at death. If you or your loved one die without a drafted will, then the remaining assets are distributed under the intestate succession laws of North Carolina:
- Surviving spouse. A surviving spouse is generally first in line to get any assets from the intestate estate. However, the amount a surviving spouse is entitled to varies as follows: A surviving spouse is entitled to the entire intestate estate (both real and personal property) if the decedent is not survived by a child, a lineal descendant of a deceased child, or a parent.
- If the decedent is survived by only one child or by any lineal descendant of only one deceased child, the surviving spouse gets an undivided one-half interest in the real property of intestate estate, plus the first $30,000 of personal property and one-half of the remaining personal property in the intestate estate.
- If the decedent is survived by two or more children, or by the lineal descendants of deceased children, the surviving spouse gets an undivided one-third interest in the real property of intestate estate, plus the first $30,000 of personal property and one-third of the remaining personal property in the intestate estate.
- If the decedent is not survived by children or their lineal descendants but is survived by at least one parent, the surviving spouse gets an undivided one-half interest in the real property of intestate estate, plus the first $50,000 of personal property and one-half of the remaining personal property in the intestate estate.
- Heirs other than surviving spouse. Any part of the intestate estate not passing to the surviving spouse as indicated above, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse, passes as follows to:
- Decedent's children or the lineal descendants of a deceased child.
- Decedent's parent or parents equally.
- Decedent's brothers and sisters or the lineal descendants of a deceased sibling
- If none of the above relatives are available, but the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents or issue of grandparents (e.g., decedent's aunts and uncles), half of the estate passes to the paternal grandparents if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent or to the issue of the paternal grandparents if both are deceased. The other half passes to the maternal relatives in the same manner. If there is no surviving grandparent or issue of grandparent on either the paternal or maternal side, the entire estate passes to the relatives on the other side in the same manner as the half portion would.
- State of North Carolina. If there is no taker under any of the above provisions, the intestate estate passes (escheats) to the state of North Carolina.
Robert E. Fuller, Jr., Attorney at Law, will consult with you to provide an individualized and customized document that will fulfill your plans for your loved ones after your death. Our goal is to ensure a smooth transition and lessen the impact should tragedy occur.
If you're interested in using our services, please fill this form out in its entirety. Please allow up to 72 hours for a response from our office. We appreciate your patience.
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