Probate Without a Will
If a person doesn’t establish a will before passing away, it can complicate the probate process. Working with an established legal representative is the most thoughtful way to ensure you’re protecting yourself against legal pitfalls and costly mistakes. Call the Raleigh, NC, probate and estate attorneys of Brady Cobin Law Group, PLLC, at 919-782-3500. They can help you sort out your legal situation and understand how to proceed in probate without a will.
What Happens When Someone Dies Without a Will?
In North Carolina, if someone dies without a will, it’s called an intestate estate. In such cases, the state determines who inherits the estate and who will handle the estate’s administration. If you’re navigating childcare or working to close bank accounts, it can be challenging.
If you don’t have a will, you may run into several of the following issues:
- You may not have financial power of attorney. Your estate plan encompasses more documents, policies, and paperwork than your will alone. If you don’t establish your financial power of attorney, state courts will appoint one and all of the position’s responsibilities.
- You may not have a healthcare power of attorney. A healthcare power of attorney makes decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated or otherwise medically unable to do so. Many clients use advance directives to specify any feelings toward life-sustaining treatments.
- There may be outstanding minor child issues. Your will designates who will care for your minor children.
- North Carolina determines who inherits your estate and who handles administration. Without a will specifying otherwise, the state of North Carolina can establish a lineup of who can execute your estate’s duties. It may or may not be who you’d prefer.
Going into probate without a will also means that your beneficiaries may not be consistent. It could also mean that you don’t have a specific funeral or burial arrangement denoted; your estate’s executor may not follow your wishes. This can complicate matters for a surviving spouse or family members.
If you’re not familiar with state law, you may want to consider professional assistance. North Carolina probate law is tricky enough as is, let alone when it’s probate without a will. Knowing when to hire an attorney can be tricky, though.
When Do You Need a Probate Attorney in Raleigh, NC?
If you’re looking for a simple answer, it’s best to hire a probate attorney in Raleigh, NC, if you ever feel like you might need some help. A legal representative can assist you in filing appropriate forms, offsetting conflict between emotional family members or surviving spouses, and helping ensure that they handle the estate with care. Attorneys can also help you understand complex legalese.
If you’re dealing with one of the following situations, it may be helpful to hire a lawyer:
- The deceased didn’t establish guardianship or care for their minor children.
- The deceased didn’t specify funeral arrangements.
- Beneficiaries are inconsistent across policies.
- There are estate disputes among family members.
However, in most cases, before attempting to initiate probate without a will, it’s wise to contact a legal professional. With qualified probate attorneys on your side, it’s easier to tackle the complications of an estate in probate.
Call Our Raleigh, NC, Probate Lawyers for Assistance
Going through probate without a will can confuse an already complex process when you’re going through probate. In addition, navigating an estate is emotional, whether you’re a surviving spouse or a child of the deceased. Contact Brady Cobin Law Group, PLLC, at 919-782-3500 to discuss your probate needs and learn more about our services.