Intestate refers to dying without having a valid will. Based on the law of inheritance, intestate succession is what happens to property that has not been distributed by a legal will or other binding declaration.

In North Carolina, if you die without a valid will, the state intestacy law will apply. This means that the Clerk of Court will authorize an administrator to administer your estate according to the North Carolina intestate statute.

North Carolina IntestacyLaw

The North Carolina intestacy law states that when someone dies without a legal will in place, their assets are inherited through intestate succession to heirs. Simply put, the state will make a will for you if you didn’t prepare one before your death. But, of course, dying without a well-prepared will can cause your family members unwanted legal battles, leading to weakened relationships.

In worse scenarios, your property may end up in the hands of the people you would not have wished to get a share. That is why we believe that every adult should have a valid will to indicate the division of their properties upon their death.

Otherwise, the state will use the North Carolina Intestate Succession Act to distribute your assets.

Survivors Covered in North Carolina Intestate Succession Act

The North Carolina intestacy statute (also known as the Intestate Succession Act) identifies who inherits your estate if in the event you die without a will.  The Intestate Succession Act provides for your spouse, children, your children’s descendants, your parents, your siblings, and other family members.  Furthermore, each person previously mentioned may inherit, if a condition is met.  For example, while you may think your spouse will inherit your entire estate regardless if you have a will, if you have children, then your spouse will share your estate with your children.  

If this is something you did not want, or you have a different idea of how you would like your estate to be distributed upon your death, then a will can help you prevent this type of outcome.  

Get the Help of a Wilmington Estate Planning Attorney Today

You have probably spent your life building a legacy for your family, don’t let the state decide how it should be divided among your heirs. At Rountree Losee,  our Wilmington estate planning attorneys can help you prepare a will that reflects your intentions. Contact us online or call us at 910-763-3404 to speak with our office.