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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


  1. 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.

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  2. 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.

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