Skip to main content

Per NC Law, does my Father's home go into the Estate funding or to me directly as only heir named in Will?

Martinsville, VA |

I was told that because the Will reads "I direct that my just debt, funeral expenses, and expenses of last illness be first paid from my Estate." and "I direct that my residuary estate be distributed to (My name and info)" and does not go into a detailed list naming the property, that the home must be sold and used to pay debts. Is this correct? I would like to keep the home, if possible, but debt is high so this is a very important point of my Estate Matters as Executor and beneficiary.

Attorney Answers 2


Debts must be paid first, but it might be possible to mortgage the house to pay the debts and then convey the house subject to the mortgage. You need to consult with a probate lawyer.

Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees




Not sure what the laws are in NY, but in North Carolina, where there is a Will, the North Carolina real estate (including the home) is owned by the beneficiaries of the Will, not the Estate, when the owner passes. That is the reason for my confusion.

Joseph Jonathan Brophy

Joseph Jonathan Brophy


In NY the decedent's real estate isn't owned by anybody until the estate is set up, then the legal representative conveys the property to the beneficiary. I have never heard of a jurisdiction where property not in joint names passes to the heirs without probate, but every state's laws are different. As I advised before, you need a lawyer. It doesn't seem like a very complex estate so the cost should be modest.


I am not licensed in North Carolina, but it is a pretty much uniform feature of probate in every state that the creditors have to properly file their claims in a timely manner. If they don't, their claims can be denied. They are not "just" debts. Other than a mortgage, which has a lien against the house, and Medicaid this important aspect of probate may be useful in reducing the total amount of your father's debt. You need to talk to a probate attorney.

Mark as helpful

Wills and estates topics

Recommended articles about Wills and estates

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics