In all of the hustle and bustle of news related to the budget, you may have missed a bill filed that impacts law regarding estates and powers of attorney. Below are just some of the changes that would occur if Senate Bill 778 becomes law. You can follow along with the progress of this bill here. [Note, House Bill 1025 includes some of the changes in SB 778 related to powers of attorney as indicated below; HB 1025 does not include the living probate, estate administration, or electronic wills changes described in this post. You can follow along with the progress of HB 1025 here.] Continue Reading
You did your homework, made your estate plans, and executed your last will and testament. However, after your death, your family or friends are unable to locate your original will. They may have only a signed or unsigned copy or nothing at all. Perhaps the original will was destroyed in a fire or lost in a move or a family member was told that the handwritten will wasn’t worth the paper it was written on and they tore it up and threw it away (true story) or your relatives simply are unable to find your original will (tip to friends and family – don’t forget to check the family bible or the freezer).
In these situations, is all hope lost? Will your property descend pursuant to intestate succession (i.e. to heirs according to State law) despite your careful estate planning? Well, not quite. It is possible to probate a lost or destroyed will in North Carolina upon certain proof to the court. This process is not set forth in statute, but instead is derived from case law. So where exactly does one seeking to probate a lost or destroyed will start? Below are some key questions to consider when facing this situation. Continue Reading