Estate question (NC)

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In N.C. if a spouse dies and there is no will does the estate automatically go to the surviving spouse?

I heard that the State (NC) could intervene and cause hardship to the surviving spouse. Is this a fact or myth?

Thanks gang all help appreciated.

-- Kenneth in N.C. (wizardsplace13@hotmail.com), July 15, 2001

Answers

UPDATE: Just got an answer from a law student. I'll post it below.

North Carolina Property Distribution If You Do Not Have a Will IF YOU ARE MARRIED:

Spouse Surviving and No Children or Descendants of Children Surviving

No Parent Surviving All real and personal property to Spouse

One or Both Parents Surviving First $50,000 of personal property to Spouse One-half of all remaining property to Spouse One-half of all remaining property to Parent(s)

Spouse Surviving and Children or Descendants of Children also Surviving

One Child Or his or her Descendant(s) First $30,000 of personal property to Spouse One-half of all remaining property to Spouse One-half of all remaining property to Child or Descendant(s)

Two or More Children or Their Descendants First $30,000 of personal property to Spouse One-third of all remaining property to Spouse Two-thirds of all remaining property to Children or Descendants

Electronic Publication FCS-273-3.

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/fcs/estates/no_will.html

-- Kenneth in N.C. (wizardsplace13@hotmail.com), July 15, 2001.


This is a good thing to look into, as it varies state by state, and the only way to be sure things will go the way you'd like is to check it out ahead of time, and make provisions if necessary. Back when I was doing title work in Texas, there was no such thing as joint tenancy on real estate(don't know what the law there is now). If a spouse died without a will, half of their interest went to surviving spouse, half dividing among children. If the children are minors, or contankerous, this could cause expensive, unneccessary problems. (Also heard stories of someone dying, and the bank freezing their assets immediately. That's going to make it hard for a survivor to take care of business.)

-- mary (marylgarcia@aol.com), July 15, 2001.

It sure does differ from state to state...when my father died in 1983, he had the last laugh, owing nearly $50K to the IRS...according to Texas law, my stepmother (and yes, she WAS the "wicked" kind) gets to live in the house until she either dies or chooses to move out....when either of those things occur, the house will be sold and the IRS gets it's $50K plus how ever many years interest, and the rest (ha ha, right) is split among my 2 siblings and I...we think we will each get enough $ to perhaps purchase a few tootsie rolls.

-- lesley (martchas@bellsouth.net), July 15, 2001.

Another thought... In some states, if there is no will, the State can take a part of the estate as well. Usually happens when there are no kids involved, but it still happens.

-- Sue Diederich (willow666@rocketmail.com), July 19, 2001.

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