Mount Holly, NC asked in Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina

Q: My wife's parents have passed on and the oldest sibling was appointed as executor.

This person has informed me that since I am not a sibling, I don't need to be kept informed or asked about anything to do with the estate. Part of the estate is being settled but there are other assets that have a legal difficulty attached to them. This person has stated we, my spouse and I, would need to sign paperwork approving them continuing as executor. If I refuse to sign, what would this do to the final settling of estate?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ashley Kevitt
Ashley Kevitt
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC

A: Since this is your wife's parents it is likely that she is a beneficiary and you may not be, meaning her parents left things to her in their Wills and maybe not to you. If you are not a beneficiary you do not have to be informed of everything going on with the estate. Your wife on the other hand would be entitled to request and receive information regarding the status of the estate and what is happening with the assets.

That said if you need to sign to approve someone it sounds like you may be a beneficiary. Or if not a beneficiary, might have been put as a back up Executor. I would suggest your wife ask to see a copy of the Will. If the other parties will not provide a copy then you can go to the Clerk of Court's office in the court house where the estate is open and request to see the Will as that is public record.

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