Questions Answered by Sara W. Harrington

Q: Is there an AOC form to petition for an elective share? Form #? Sample petition?

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for North Carolina on
Answered on Jan 16, 2019
Sara W. Harrington's answer
I believe the form you are looking for is AOC E-100. APPLICATION AND ASSIGNMENT YEAR’S ALLOWANCE

The link is: https://www.nccourts.gov/assets/documents/forms/e100.pdf?AadqAnQqiiRR5QZJyHGqMX0D6VYoY3if

This form allows the surviving spouse to apply for the first $60,000.00 of the estate.

Child(ren) who meet the following criteria are entitled to receive an allowance of up to $5,000 from the estate:

"(1) under the age of 18 years, including an adopted child or a...

Q: No will, no surviving spouse, all seven children are deceased, they have children, are the children the only heirs?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on
Answered on Jan 10, 2019
Sara W. Harrington's answer
The North Carolina laws of Intestate Succession determine who will inherit when there is no will.

If there is no surviving spouse or children, the next in line are grandchildren. If some of the grandchildren have died before the person of whom you are speaking, then their children would inherit as well. Spouses of heirs do not inherit through intestate succession.

The relevant law N.C.G.C. 29-15 states that "if the intestate is survived by two or more children or by one child...

Q: My ex died owing over 25,000 in child support. My son is now 18. He died with nothing, will SSA pay benefits?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for North Carolina on
Answered on Jan 9, 2019
Sara W. Harrington's answer
As you know, once a supporting parent has died, future support payments die with him.

However, his estate will owe the past-due amount. Once his estate has been opened for probate you or even state child support enforcement agency may file a claim against his estate with the probate court for back child support. The estate will generally have to pay the child support obligation before assets are disbursed to those named in his will.

I understand that you say he owned nothing,...

Q: I am the oldest of four adult children to two divorced parents. Am I their closest next of kin?

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for North Carolina on
Answered on Jan 9, 2019
Sara W. Harrington's answer
You and your siblings are equally related to your parents.

Determining who is given a power of attorney is determined by the person over whom the power will be exercised, if that person is competent and over 18.

If the person is believed to be incompetent and has no durable power of attorney (to handle the person's financial affairs) or health care power of attorney (to handle medical care), then any person, including any state or local human services agency or healthcare...

Q: What next with NC Assignment of Spousal Years Allowance form?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on
Answered on Jan 8, 2019
Sara W. Harrington's answer
I'm sorry for your loss.

You're off to a good start by filing the Spousal Allowance form.

If your wife listed you as the beneficiary (also called TOD or POD) on her financial accounts or if you had a joint account held as "joint tenants with right of survivorship", the financial institutions should transfer the funds to you and it will pass outside the estate. This should not be counted against your Spousal Allowance.

If you were not the beneficiary and have listed...

Q: Spouse passed away with no will and has lawsuit settlement check coming in. What forms are needed to receive the money?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for North Carolina on
Answered on Dec 27, 2018
Sara W. Harrington's answer
My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your mother.

Yes, your father can file AOC-E-100 form with the Clerk of Court to get his spousal allowance without having to open an estate. Actually, the allowance has been increased to $60,000, so if there are any other assets such as vehicles that need to be transferred, that can be handled with the spousal allowance as well. I've included the section of the law regarding the spousal allowance because I thought it might be of help...

Q: How to get custody over a friends child?

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for North Carolina on
Answered on Dec 26, 2018
Sara W. Harrington's answer
Because she is already involved in the Social Services system, you can contact Social Services and express an interest in the child being placed with you. You will have a better chance of the child being placed if you agree to take a foster parenting class (called Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting or MAPP classes) through Social Services. You and all the people living in your household will also be required to have a criminal background check and a home inspection.

Q: My dad passed with mortgage on house in NC. We can't afford/don't want it. Can the mortg co come after POD account

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for North Carolina on
Answered on Dec 26, 2018
Sara W. Harrington's answer
In order to open an estate, even for a small estate, if the personal representative of the estate does not live in North Carolina, you will need a resident process agent. That can be a trusted friend, but most often it's an attorney.

Regarding the house, I recommend you get an experienced realtor to give you a market analysis. It might be worth more than you think and you would be throwing away money. If it is indeed not worth more than what is owed, you can contact the mortgage...

Q: What is the process to add a backup personal representative to a will after a loved one's passing?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on
Answered on Dec 26, 2018
Sara W. Harrington's answer
The North Carolina statutes provide for a procedure to replace the executor if the executor dies. It's generally a very orderly process. The will may list successor to the executor or the Clerk may appoint someone. In your case, it sounds like the will listed no successor personal representative. No one but the person who wrote the will (the testator) can change the will and no changes can be made to a will after the testator's death. If the personal representative does not feel he or she is up...

Q: Man signs birth certificate,dies,but child not his(DNA test). Can DNA related children keep him from estate inheritance

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for North Carolina on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
Sara W. Harrington's answer
When the deceased person signed the birth certificate, he acknowledged that he was the legal, biological father. By signing that and acknowledging his role as father (whether this was under a wrong belief or not) he took legal responsibility for the child.

Once someone has acknowledged parenthood, they cannot disclaim it.

Q: False DV report to shelter w/ no police report against my deceased dad so she can claim inheritance. Can she do this?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
Sara W. Harrington's answer
First of all, I'm very sorry for your loss.

I'm afraid there is nothing you can do to fight your father's wife's claim. Even though your father could not find your mother to serve her with divorce papers by personal delivery, registered or certified mail, or by a designated delivery service, he could have served her by publication and gotten a divorce. This means, that after a diligent attempt to locate the spouse with no luck, the spouse wanting the divorce can have a legal notice run...

Q: My,mom has land and has a buyer. She has been in the nursing home for 3 1/2 years on medicaid.. Can state take her money

2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law for North Carolina on
Answered on Dec 26, 2018
Sara W. Harrington's answer
This is a more complex question than you may realize and there are other factors to consider that you have not listed. I recommend you find an elder law specialist in your area and consult with them. I agree with Attorney Winblad that what you pay to consult with an attorney could save you much more than if you don't.

Q: Father died no Will. Wife & 4 children. Wife says not sharing estate with children. Wife name not on house or cars.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for North Carolina on
Answered on Sep 20, 2018
Sara W. Harrington's answer
Your father's widow is allowed to claim a spousal allowance of $30,000 immediately. That is designed to help spouses pay bills until the estate is distributed.

If your father had no will, the estate (after the first $30,000 goes to the widow) will be distributed according to the laws of intestate succession. Under that law, the surviving spouse will receive 50% of the estate and the other 50% is shared by the deceased person's living children and heirs of deceased children. The real...

Q: My father died last week and my brother changed the locks and threw me out of the home where I had been living

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for North Carolina on
Answered on Sep 19, 2018
Sara W. Harrington's answer
The answer depends on a lot of factors in order to give you an answer to this question. These questions include:

Did your father own or rent the home?

Was there a mortgage?

Was there a will?

How many other heirs are there to the estate?

I suggest you talk to a local estate administration attorney and bring answers to these questions in order to get a more complete answer to your question.

Q: After the estate is settled and there is a house does it automatically go to the 3 children of the deceased?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for North Carolina on
Answered on Sep 19, 2018
Sara W. Harrington's answer
In North Carolina, real estate passes to the heirs on the date of the deceased person's death. Who the real estate is left to is determined by a specific gift of real estate in a will filed with the Clerk of Court's office or it passes under the laws of intestate succession.

According to the laws of intestate succession, if the deceased person is survived by a spouse and children, the spouse gets 50% of the property and the children (and the heirs of deceased children) share in the...

Q: how do you find an estate file? what exactly is an estate file?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Answered on Sep 19, 2018
Sara W. Harrington's answer
An estate file is the collection of documents filed with the Clerk of Court (in the city in which the deceased individual lived or owned real estate) in reference to the administration or probate of the deceased person's estate. These files are kept in a separate area from civil or criminal files. You should be able to look on the computer system in the Clerk of Court's office under the name of the deceased person to find the file.

Q: Will dad's house pass to immediate family outside of probate in NC?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on
Answered on Sep 19, 2018
Sara W. Harrington's answer
In North Carolina, real estate passes to the heirs at the time of death. If there is no will, that is determined by the laws of intestate succession. If there is a will and the real estate was specifically devised to individuals, that would override intestate succession.

Generally real estate is not probated unless it needs to be brought into the estate to pay a bill of the estate.

If all of his personal property is worth less than $20,000, you can settle his estate with an...

Q: Can executor of intestate case rent out property, he was told no prior to agreeing to allow him to be executor

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for North Carolina on
Answered on Sep 19, 2018
Sara W. Harrington's answer
If there was no will, the surviving spouse has priority to qualify as administrator of the estate. If there is no surviving spouse, the intestate heirs share equal priority to be the administrator. If you and the other heirs do not want this person to administer the estate, one of you can apply to be the administrator. I recommend you contact an attorney experienced in estate administration in the county where your deceased loved one lived so that you can share more specifics and he/she can...

Q: I am completing the form AOC-E-506 for my grandmother (2015) and grandfather's (2017) estates as an annual account in NC

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on
Answered on Sep 19, 2018
Sara W. Harrington's answer
It sounds like you've been doing a lot of the right things, but you could use the assistance of an attorney experienced in estate administration/probate to help you make sure you take care of all the small details that may fall through the cracks. I recommend you contact a local estate attorney for assistance.

Q: My estranged father died and became ward of the state. What do I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Public Benefits and Probate for North Carolina on
Answered on Sep 19, 2018
Sara W. Harrington's answer
If your father was a ward of the state, someone should have been serving as his guardian or social worker. You might want to contact the agency who was taking responsibility for him to find out about the disposition of his remains. Also, if he was a ward of the state, there is probably no estate to administer, but he may have some personal items that the family can claim. The best thing to do is to contact the guardian or agency and go from there.

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