Thomasville, NC asked in Elder Law and Probate for North Carolina

Q: In NC how do you handle a wife passing away and 2 weeks later the husband? The wife has no assets but medical bills.

I am named executor on both wills.

The cash in joint checking (only assets left) went to husband at death but wife had surgery the day she passed so there will be some medical bills. Can I pay wife’s medical out of husband’s estate? - if not, how are they handled. There is enough cash to pay all debts for both. Do you probate wife’s will and get appointed executor so you can handle her medical expenses.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Yadkinville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Unfortunately, you have to probate both wills, first, all of the wife's property passed to the husband, and then all of the husband's property passed according to his will. Joint checking accounts are an asset that can be brought back into the estate even though they pass outside of the estate. Given the inherent complexity of doing two wills, I highly recommend hiring a probate attorney to assist you in 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.