I would wait until you close the estate to shred any documents. When someone passes the Power of Attorney ceases to work. It's a document that allows you to act for someone while they are living. Once they die, the document dies also. The will takes over at that point and if you were appointed as the Executor (male) or Executrix (female) of the estate then you would need to file the will with the court house and begin the job of representing the estate. If your nephew contests the will or your...
Usually when someone passes and their children are still alive, inheriting the asset is not dependent on the estate settling. The asset is technically the childs at the moment of death. If this is the case, then your wife has already inherited and should she die before the estate settles, the assets she inherited would pass by her estate plan to her beneficiaries. If however the will states that the beneficiary must survive the deceased by a set number of days, then one would have to wait until...
It is unclear how the amendment is going to effect wills. It is possible that there will be some challenges which will make it to the courts regarding transfers between LGBT couples. However, wills are not contracts, so there is a strong argument that the Amendment won't apply.
POAs and Health Directive allow appointment of anyone you choose to handle this job for you, so these should be okay.
I am being very careful how I draft documents in light of the new Amendment.
The smartest thing...
You are entitled to be reimbursed for the funeral. I suggest you hire an attorney immediately. This sounds like a very contentious situation, if you are being sued. There is also a great deal at stake; namely the real estate that you state was put in your name. I haven't read the will, so I don't know how to answer the rest of your questions about everything going in a trust.
If your father loaned you $12,000.00 and such loan is not forgiven, by the terms of his will, at his death, then there may be a debt owed to the estate. This debt may be collected by the personal representative of the estate, appointed by the will, at the time your father passes away. The debt may be "enforced" by the personal representative through legal action.
If this property is in fact your mother's, whether the deed has been changed or not, Medicaid will have a lien upon it when she dies. I would recommend that you consult an attorney immediately. There are strategies which would allow the Power of Attorney to rent the land and possibly, preserve it, from such a lien.
Please see a NC elder law attorney. It may be possible to work this out. Transfers within 5 years of needing care are countable by DSS. If you can't take care of your parents and attempt to qualify for Medicaid, an outright transfer of the home will be treated as a gift and such gift will impose a penalty, disqualifying them for care for a certain period of time.
Again, an Elder Law Attorney is imperative in these situations.
I think your father made your brother his representative or "attorney in fact" under his Power of Attorney. If he named your brother to handle his estate when he passes, then your brother is known as the "executor". If your father wants to change either document he would need to see his attorney so that the old documents can be revoked and the new documents created. After the Power of Attorney is created it should be filed at the courthouse. If the old one was filed it will need to be revoked.
I would suggest a trust. The house would be held in trust for five years, after your death, for your husband to use, provided he pays for the taxes, upkeep and insurance. You may put terms in the trust, such as, this benefit is only is in place, as long as he lives in the home, etc. After such time passes, or if the conditions are not met, the house would go to your children.
I'm really sorry about your father.
If your dad was a resident of NC, since there wasn't a will, the court will likely hold the money, and when each of you reach 18 you will receive your share. The administrator will handle the paperwork, gather the assets and decide what to do about the house and contents. Since she's within her authority to sell the house and contents, the four of you might want to have a discussion with her where you ask, politely, for some personal items that are...