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

Q: My father just passed away. I am his first child and have 2 step siblings by his second marriage.

That marriage did not last and he married two other times and divorced. At 70 years old he remarried the second wife with the 2 step siblings again. They were married 15 months prior to his passing. All of his property and savings were acquired prior to their remarriage until his parents both passed leaving he and his 3 brothers their inheritance which is quite substantial. They share no joint accounts and she is not listed as a co owner on any deeds of the property he owned prior to their short remarriage. No new will was drafted leaving anything to his 2nd wife/5th wife remarriage. What in North Carolina is the law concerning marriage after 15 months to a previous wife and is she entitled to his inhereted property and monies if she was never added to the deeds or the accounts containing said inheritance?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Amanda Bowden Houser
Amanda Bowden Houser
  • Jacksonville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: You can not disinherit a spouse in North Carolina. So regardless of the will, the new wife will likely get what is called an 'elective share'. There are several factors that go into calculating if the elective share applies and if so how much it will be. For a marriage of less than 5 years the elective share is typically 15% of the estate.

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