Lithonia, GA asked in Wrongful Death for North Carolina

Q: Let me rephrase my question. An adult child is killed and does not leave a will. His only heirs are his parents whom

Have never been married to each other or anyone else. The death of the son involves a wrongful death suit. The fathers name is on the birth certificate and he paid child support. Would legitimization play a part in this case or is the father unable to inherit from the wrongful death settlement? This is in North Carolina

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2 Lawyer Answers
Amanda Bowden Johnson
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  • Jacksonville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: If the person died without a will, the estate will likely be distributed according to intestate succession which means parents will likely inherit the estate assuming no one else is first in line. Being legitimate or not has nothing to do with inheritance unless paternity is contested - which it appears not to be in this case. So 'legitimization' is irrelevant here. Further, you don't inherit from a law suit. So if there is a wrongful dead suit, anyone who wants to benefit from the suit needs to be a party to the suit. If you are not a party to the suit and believe you should be, there is a procedure to intervene in the suit. This sort of thing can be time sensitive so you likely need to consult with an attorney ASAP.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing

A: You look at biology. If both are the parents, then both can be administrators of the estate. Each may have a separate claim on their own. They should consult a member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice--they give free consultations.

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