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Do I have any standing with an unsigned Will? Should I contest?

Hickory, NC |

My father passed & his neighbor come forth with a Will from 1999 naming her as executrix with powers over everything. It says to sell all his property and split it 3 ways between her, my sister and myself. This includes a home.
I am disabled and live in a 32 yr. old trailer that is not fit for occupancy. I knew by the way my father acted before he died that I was to get the home. He would not want me to be without a decent roof over my head.
Now I have found a will that my father had drafted by an attorney last fall that left me the house as I was lead to believe but he never signed it. The attorney's office said they had mailed him reminders to sign it. Well, my father was blind and the woman who's probating the 1999 Will picked up his mail & read it to him so I bet he never got these.

Attorney Answers 2


An unsigned will is not valid. Unfortunately, it will be very difficult to contest the will based on the limited facts in your question. I recommend you contact a local attorney, possibly the one your father used to see if there is any evidence of fraud or duress that might negate the last will and then your sister and yourself might inherit under your state's laws of intestacy. good Luck!

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First, I'm sorry about your loss and the stress that this situation with the old will and draft are causing. Unfortunately, the unsigned draft doesn't give you any standing in NC. The court will probate the signed will. While you may be correct that the neighbor took advantage of your father and never read the draft to him, there is nothing which can be done implement the draft. However, please take note, if the 1999 will does not specifically mention the disposition of the real estate, stating that such real property specifically goes to certain deviseees, then by NC law, Statute, 28A-15-2(b), it would belong to your father's legal heirs, presumably, you and your sister, not the neighbor. I would recommend that you seek formal legal advice.
Cheryl David

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