Jacksonville, NC asked in Estate Planning for North Carolina

Q: My mother just passed away. I lived at home with her. My father passed away in 2012, and I am the only child.

Will I need to go through probate to continue living in the home? As far as I know, the only debt she may have are hospital bills she incurred in the couple months leading up to her death. There is no will, and I am almost certain that I am the only beneficiary.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Angela L. Haas
Angela L. Haas
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Most likely, you will need to have her estate go through probate, especially since you mention the possibility that there might be another beneficiary. If you are the only child and your mother died without a will, then you are the only beneficiary. Depending on how our mother's home was titled, it may pass to you automatically (i.e., if you owned it as joint tenants with a right of survivorship). If you cannot pay her debts yourself (and you certainly are not liable for her debts) , then her estate will have to pay her debts (i.e., the house may need to be sold, to cover the debts). Consult with a Probate attorney to learn more.

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