Statesville, NC asked in Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina

Q: My uncle died with no will, no children, what are my rights as an heir to find out what was in bank accounts he had?

Two living Aunts (his sisters) and me and my 2 sisters (heirs thru my dad (their brother). What are the rights as far as the estate. The one sister is claiming they don't know what he had. The one sister sent a paper to the other sister wanting her to sign (Waiver of bond paper or something) what is this paper? Should we all be allowed to find out what he had or just the Executor and can he just give out what he wants us to have. Just some clarity please?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Salem, MA

A: There is a difference between an estate which is subject to probate and a Trust. A Trust is not part of probate generally. The Estate consists of all property held by the decedent directly, personal bank and brokerage accounts, real estate owned by the decedent in his own name or as the beneficiary of a nominee trust. Generally, retirement accounts are not part of probate unless they name the estate as the beneficiary.

I would ask an attorney to review the waiver. The waiver should only be with respect to the appointment of a personal representative (formerly called the Executor) who handles the probate of the estate. They are required to provide an inventory to the court of the all the assets owned directly by the decedent and after the inventory they have to produce an accounting after the first year. The estate in MA is probated in the county where the decedent last resided.

If there was no Will, then any heir can petition to be the Personal Representative. If you want you can seek to have someone other than your aunt appointed Personal Representative.

Feel free to contact me if you have a fundamental question about this process.

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.