Q: My mother died in NC, no will and she had 5 properties in her name. I do not want them and I am heir what do I do?
I assume that you mean that you want to sell the properties and collect the proceeds. As long as (1) the properties were not owned jointly by your mother and another person (i.e. not as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" or "tenants by the entireties") and (2) you are entitled to receive your mother's real property under NC's Intestate Succession Statute (see NCGS Chapter 29 Article 2), you are now technically the owner of her properties. Before selling the properties, however, you should open your mother's estate and take the steps that you are required of the Administrator (particularly publishing a notice to creditors in a local newspaper). Then you can sell the properties and keep the proceeds. Note that if you are not the sole heir to your mother's real estate, you will need the other heirs' agreement to sell the properties. You will also need the signature of the Administrator of your mother's estate on the deed, whether that is yourself or someone else.
If you actually meant that you don't want anything to do with the properties or proceeds at all, my answer would be different:
There is no requirement for an heir to open an estate in NC. If you do not want any of your mother's property at all, you have the option of taking no action. Someone else (such as another heir or a creditor) may apply to open your mother's estate, and you will be notified if/when that happens.
If you do want to administer the estate (for example, if you want other property besides the real property), you can renounce your interest in just the properties. NCGS Chapter 31B gives heirs the right to renounce all of part of their interest in an estate by filing a written renunciation with the Clerk of Superior Court in the county in which the estate is being administered. If you want to go this route, you should file this disclaimer within 9 months of your mother's death to avoid adverse estate/gift tax consequences. And you should be careful to limit the renunciation to just the properties, so it isn't deemed a renunciation of all of your interest in your mother's estate.
1 user found this answer helpful
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.