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Questions Answered by Ben Corcoran
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for North Carolina on
Q: If I own a home that I paid the monthly mortgage payment directly to the owner and the owner was a close friend that die

Do I have to attend the probate court or can my lawyer represent me?

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Apr 9, 2021

Generally speaking, probate matters do not actually go to court like you may be thinking. The clerk's office will handle much of the estate and potentially the estate will hire a lawyer to assist them. What you need to do is find out who the new owner(s) of the property are and where to send... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for North Carolina on
Q: What steps must be taken to get conservatorship or guardianship over a person (adult) with mental illness?

In this case it would be my 37 year old son, who has paranoid schizophrenia. I'm sure I would need hospital records . I'm not sure how to get them without the help of an attorney

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Apr 8, 2021

Once you start the guardianship process, a guardian ad litem (GAL) will be appointed. They should be able to access some of these records; I highly advise that you get legal help in this matter, not just for the initial hearing but also for the subsequent duties that fall on the appointed guardian.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for North Carolina on
Q: If a will leaves you "each and every item of my property and estate, whether real, personal or mixed" and further states

" I hereby give, devise, and bequeath my entire estate to" does this type of language allow one to bypass listing items ( car, stocks, accounts, etc.) without the beneficiary's name on it on the AOC-505? It is my understanding that items with the beneficiary's name on them or... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Apr 8, 2021

I would have to review both the will and the related documents to give specific advice as to what needed to be listed. But generally speaking if the property is passing through the estate then it needs to be on the inventory.

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for North Carolina on
Q: Recently my rear driver side LED went out. However, my rear passenger side one works. Both breaks work....

^is it legal to drive till I can get it replaced?

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Apr 7, 2021

You may get a ticket for driving the vehicle in its current condition, but if you fix it and show the court proof of the fix the ticket would be dismissed.

What is more likely to happen is that once it comes time for your annual inspection you will have to get it fixed.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: I want to create a joint tenancy on my home with my sister. What kind of lawyer do I need and what will it cost?
Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Apr 7, 2021

I notice that you are in Chicago; if the property is in NC, then this forum is the correct place, but if not, you will likely need to post it in the state where the property is located.

If the property is in NC, any lawyer can do this, but real estate attorneys have more experience in the...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on
Q: My father passed away last yr. I have a question about the estate and my rights. Can I make my sister move off property

the property was willed to the 3 of us. however my sister has moved into home not paid rent to me or my brother, nor paid the property taxes.

She wont let myself nor my brother on property unless she is there and we still have personal items to be devided between us. She told me I have to... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Apr 5, 2021

I have to disagree with Mr. Avery's assessment of this situation. While probate may not have occurred, that would not change the situation. I have not seen the will or the deed into your father, and until a lawyer has seen both of these documents, any advice is just a guess and not an accurate... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on
Q: What do I need to do In NC if My mother died 10 days ago and I am the only aire?
Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Apr 1, 2021

Depends on whether or not your mother left a will and the size of her estate. If it is a small estate then talk to the local clerk and you can try and handle everything yourself, or if you would feel more comfortable, hire an attorney to assist you in the process.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: Good Morning, I am seeking legal advice on how to get the earnest money that is owed to my wife and I.

THe first Buyers that we were under contract with backed out of the contract 14 days after the contracted settlement date and weeks after Due Dilligence had expired. The closing attorney that represented the, last I heard because the attorney no longer responds to my emails or calls, has the money... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Apr 1, 2021

I would have to review the contract to see what you are entitled to. There is a big difference between earnest money and a due diligence fee.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: My son and his roommates are renewing a lease on a college campus. Part of the verbiage in the new lease is that

if the police are called to the residence they can be evicted. Is this legal

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Apr 1, 2021

Generally yes, I would have to review the lease to see it in context but I frequently write that into leases I draft.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for North Carolina on
Q: My brother passed away on 12/25/20. He had no will. My nephew took it upon himself to appoint himself the administrator

I am the only surviving sibling. My nephew is saying he’s entitled to $130,000 and that I will get $40,000 and other nieces and nephews will get $14,000 a piece. I don’t think my nephew should get that much. What can I do ??? I’m seeing a lawyer on 4-12-21. But there trying to wrap things up... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Apr 1, 2021

Wait and talk to the lawyer, under NC law there is a very specific method of how the estate is to be divided. Make sure the lawyer you are speaking to is allowed to practice law in NC.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: what are my rights in NC regarding the sale of a home bought during my marriage?

My father in law bought a home for my husband and I and we lived there for 14 years. My estranged husband and his father are on the deed. My name is not, although I made the payments for 9 of the 14 years I lived in the home. My father in law is trying to sell the house and needs my signature on... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Mar 31, 2021

This is a matter for the divorce settlement, you have very limited rights under real property law. In order for the house to be sold while you are married, you must sign the deed but likely you cannot be forced to sign.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: If a real estate contract was signed under false pretenses is there a way to back out of contract for the seller?

Contract was signed under false pretense that the houses on the land would be fixed up and lived in. A man showed up to put up a for sale sign on property before sale was finalized date on contract. Also information was incorrect on the contract/marked out and correct information written in but not... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Mar 31, 2021

Take all of this to a local real estate attorney, without reading the contract there is little advice that can be given on this forum.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for North Carolina on
Q: Is a will enough to make sure if either husband I pass away, the property goes to living spouse? Or must have trust?

We want 100% go to living spouse. Just need to make sure this. We have adult kids and grandchildren. In the event both of us died then we can let them have the asset.

But when one of us died, we want to make sure the living spouse is not left in a limbo and have to leave the house.

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Mar 31, 2021

Depends on what you mean by property, real property passes outside the estate unless specifically brought into the estate. However, with most married couples the property automatically passes to the surviving spouse by virtue of the deed. Bank accounts and stocks are very similar, where they... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for North Carolina on
Q: My father and his siblings are selling land they inherited jointly; sitting adjacent to and on a small portion of the

Land sits the family church they allowed to be built giving them a parking area and a small yard and a fence to divide properties. This was done 40 years ago. The family found a buyer who had land surveyed & decided to buy. They close this week but the buyer now says he wants to remove fence... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Mar 23, 2021

No adverse possession does not apply because the church had your permission to use the land. Adverse possession requires that it was being done against your family's wishes.

My advice is to sign a long-term lease with the church, and then the buyer would take the land subject to that lease.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for North Carolina on
Q: My father is getting married again. He does not want to change his will he wants it to stay the same.

The new wife says she does not want any of the things he has before her.

But the children wants her to sign something stating that she will not have life time rights to the house or land.

The house property and bank accounts life insurances are willed to children and grand... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Mar 23, 2021

As Mr. Lohr said a prenup is the only way to completely disinherit a spouse.

If you want to not redo a will or get a prenup. There are ways you can prevent the will from distributing assets. You can put your side of the family as right of survivorship on all of the accounts and make a new...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: We bought a wooded lot from neighbors and discovered their sewer line runs onto our property 10 feet from survey line.

We have asked verbally for sewer line to be moved onto their land. How can we force this sewer line to be moved before the new owners take possession and claim it isn't their problem??

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Mar 22, 2021

Depends on how long the line has been there and what the respective deeds say. I would advise hiring a local lawyer to look into the situation and give you a better opinion as to your option.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for North Carolina on
Q: What's the best way to locate or confirm the contents of my late fathers will if his 2nd wife isn't cooperating?

I don't even know if there is a will, but I want to try to get access to it. I don't think he has a physical copy, but his 2nd wife is being irrational and won't let us look for one.

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Mar 22, 2021

Hopefully, it was filed for safekeeping at the local clerk of court's office. I would check there, they will not let you look at it until it is probated but they should be able to tell you if they are keeping one for him.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on
Q: My father died with a will. He inherited land from my moms family. How do I separate my share from my nephews?

The land was not a part of the will. I do not want to have any financial connection to my nephew. I offered to buy him out, as he cant afford to pay the taxes on the land. He refused. I want to split the land so I can sell my portion back to my cousin who owns the land around my moms land and not... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Mar 16, 2021

If I understand this correctly, the current owners are you and your nephew. And your nephew wants to keep his portion of the land.

You really have two options, the first you have attempted, you buy out your nephew, but he has to agree to this option.

The second is that you file a...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: Both parents died in 2012, the first of 2013 by sister verbally told me all property and contents were mine

She also stated she was never stepping foot on land again and was never speaking to me again. She has proved that by not paying any expenses. Can the deed now be put in mine name only. The property is in N.C.

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Mar 16, 2021

Only if she and her spouse, if she is married, are willing to sign a deed transferring ownership to you.

The only other way to do so is by filing a partition motion with the court and buying it at auction.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: 4 Siblings own family estate 2 years after the passing. 2 won't to Sell and 2 refuse. What is the options

There is a small trailer park that the 2 have rentals and the collect rent. The other 2 do not

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Mar 8, 2021

You file a partition motion and ask for the land to be sold and the proceeds split amongst the family. I would highly advise hiring an attorney to assist with this process as there are many steps that have to be followed in a specific manner.

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