Beaufort, North Carolina, Lawyer, Attorney

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This is the final part in a six-part series entitled Dying Without A Will in North Carolina. Today I will conclude my discussion of the North Carolina Intestate Succession Act.


We hope that this overview of some of the legal consequences of passing without a Will has been informative and helpful. The North Carolina Intestate Succession Act presents a clear and orderly framework for the transfer of property from the decedent to his or her heirs. The statute eliminates the potential for confusion and disputes that would otherwise arise among heirs, and it does so in a way that demonstrates an admirable degree of consistency and fairness.

Despite the admirable qualities of the intestacy statute, it is always better to execute a valid Last Will and Testament.

! A Will allows a decedent to detail his or her distributions in a highly individualized way, which contrasts sharply with the "one size fits all" approach characterizing the Intestacy Succession Act.

! A Will provides the decedent with the ability to leave exactly what he or she wishes to exactly whom he or she chooses.

! A Will may serve as a vehicle for the creation of a minor’s trust, thereby allowing the decedent to provide for the care and management of the minor’s property and finances without the headache of a guardianship proceeding.

For the purposes of estate settlement, it is generally less time-consuming and less expensive to settle an estate in which there is a Will (a testate estate) than an estate in which there is no Will. The Will provides clarity concerning both the assets and the potential beneficiaries of the decedent. This translates to a shorter turnaround time in the settlement of the estate and less money to be paid from the estate in fees.

Thank you for reading the final part in the six-part series entitled Dying Without A Will in North Carolina. If you missed any of the preceding parts, please feel free to read our older posts explaining various aspects of the North Carolina Intestate Succession Act.


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