Charlotte, NC asked in Estate Planning for North Carolina

Q: If I die with out a Will what happens to my wife?

Does she have access to my bank account or is it frozen.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jonathan Shbeeb
Jonathan Shbeeb
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: When a person passes without a will or other document that passes property upon death, the property passes through intestacy. That means it is governed by operation of law. A spouse will receive a portion of the property left behind in the estate. The amount of the property the spouse receives depends upon whether there are others that are in a familial relationship with the deceased, i.e., parents, children of both spouses, children of just one spouse, etc.

Regarding the bank account, it depends on whose names are on the account. There are several options to pass amounts in a bank account to a spouse. Getting a will and dealing with the money in a bank account can be handled fairly easily by an estate planning attorney. In fact, a basic will, without an entire estate package, will not cost too much and it will put your mind at rest. The attorney can also assist you with what to do with bank accounts, life insurance policies, and other similar property or proceeds.

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