What happens when someone in Wake Forest dies without having a valid will and there are no designated beneficiaries? In this specific situation the person is known as having died intestate. When it comes to intestate estate planning there are no specific instructions about who is going to inherit the estate or possessions of the deceased person, meaning even relatives have no legal claim over any assets.
it is important to also know that when a person dies intestate North Carolina law has specific provisions in place to deal with this situation. The process, however, can be complicated and involve numerous levels of legal involvement which is why it is suggested to seek the support of an Estate focused law firm with extensive knowledge of the intestate succession laws. At our Wake Forest law firm, we are experienced in handling these situations and will assign our talented Wake Forest Intestate Administration Attorney to help.
What is the Process When Someone Dies Intestate?
If a person dies without a will, the state laws that apply in the specific state where the person lived will determine how the entire estate and other property acquired is divided.
Intestate Succession Act
North Carolina follows the Intestate Succession Act in these situations. Under this law, a local probate court will appoint an administrator who will use the probate process to divide up the decedent's estate according to what is stated in the law.
The purpose of the North Carolina Intestate Succession Act is to allow close family members to benefit from the estate of their relative if there was no estate planning in place or if someone young died suddenly.
This Act also deals with situations involving surviving heirs such as:
- Legally Adopted Children
- Children born out of wedlock
When the Intestate Succession Act is being applied, it looks at each person’s lineage to the deceased person. The intestacy laws also looks at how many children are surviving, and whether there are other family members nearby.
It is also important to know that foster children not possessing any legal document to show adoption, unmarried partners, and other close relatives may not be subject to any remaining assets according to to intestate succession laws within the probate court.
How Estates Are Divided When There is No Will in Place
North Carolin’s intestacy laws detail how estates are divided among family members when no will is in place.
- If there is a spouse and one child, or that child’s descendants, the spouse receives the first $30,000 of the personal property. The remainder is split evenly between the spouse and child or child’s descendants, giving each half.
- When there is a spouse and two or more children or their descendants, the spouse still receives the first $30,000, plus one-third of the remaining personal property. The other two-thirds of the remaining property is split evenly between the surviving spouse and the two or more children or their descendants.
- If there is a spouse and parents of the deceased, the spouse receives the first $50,000 of the deceased’s property. The personal property is still split evenly between the surviving spouse and the deceased’s parents.
- When there is only a spouse of the deceased, the spouse receives all of the personal property. If there are only parents, the estate gets divided between the two parents. When there is one parent, that parent would receive everything.
- If only the children or their descendants are involved, the estate is split equally among them.
When there are no parents, spouses, or children, the estate will get split among more distant family members such as grandparents, uncles, and aunts.
All of these situations can be avoided when a will is in place. A will determines how property is divided among family members and even those who are not blood-related. At The Doyle Law Offices, we can help you establish a will and deal with any estate planning.
Who is Ultimately Responsible? Executor or Personal Representative?
The North Carolina state law lists persons who can be appointed in exec-related positions without the will. When probate court proceedings must occur, the court selects an individual according to this priority list. Almost all states give to a surviving spouse or registered domestic partners first. Then adult children often follow, followed by other relatives. Are estate executorial jobs acceptable?
Do You Need an Intestate Estate Administration Attorney in Wake Forest?
When you need an Intestate Estate Administration Attorney in Wake Forest, The Doyle Law Offices is here to help. We have an experienced team that can guide you through the process.