My mother passed away about two years ago in North Carolina. She and my father owned three houses in North Carolina.

Asked over 1 year ago - Raleigh, NC

My mother passed away about two years ago in North Carolina. She and my father owned three houses at the beach in North Carolina. In her will which was filed and probated with the court in NC, she stated that I inherit half the three homes (i'm assuming her interest). Both my father and mother's names are on the deeds to each place. The lawyer who probated the will did not give me my share. My father has refused to change the deed and says that I cannont get the share for each house that was written in her will. Therefore, he has not followed her interests. Do you happen to know what my options are?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Howard M Lewis

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . If there is still time you may contest the will, it sounds like something happened that is missin gfrom the facts.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to... more
  2. Kelly Scott Davis

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . From your fact summary it appears that your father is still alive. If the deeds list your mother and father as joint tenants with rights of survivorship or husband and wife, the houses aren't probate assets when the first spouse dies. Therefore the Will doesn't apply. They both shared in the title and when the first one dies, the survivor doesn't have to share anymore. It is when the second one dies that the Will of the former survivor comes into play. If they owned the property as tenants in common, which is not a survivorship interest, then your mother's Will does matter. Go to the courthouse, get copies of the deeds and see how title was held.

  3. Matthew Erik Johnson

    Contributor Level 17

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Davis. This may be a property law issue rather than a probate issue. When real estate passes by joint tenancy with right of survivorship, the transfer is by operation of law and contract, rather than through a device or intestate succession (probate).

    Thus... when it comes to real estate - the deed will trump a Will. There is a statute of limitations on this, so if you want to pursue, now is the time.

    Matthew Johnson phone# 206.747.0313 is licensed in the State of Washington and performs bankruptcy, short sale... more

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