Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in North Carolina

My father signed a will in 2001 and stated that everything went to my stepmother. At her death, the estate was to be divided 3 ways between his two children and stepson. In the years following, the stepson got hooked on drugs, broke into my father's house, stole medication, money, etc. until my father banned him from the property and said he'd better not "show his face or step a foot on my property". This was in 2008 and my father enforced it until the day he died. My brother and I feel there is another will. If not, we wondered if we could challenge the will. He drank heavily and took prescribed narcotics for back pain after 2001. His wife switched from alcohol to pills and is still taking the pain pills she took from him regularly (he confided this to me and my brother). I include this info just to give a comprehensive view. Could be have a case here in Guilford County, NC?

Asked on 9/18/16, 5:44 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

It does not work like this. you cannot give property to someone and then decide what to do with it once that person dies. If you do this, you are either giving someone a life estate or you create a trust which allows them to use the property but not have an ownership interest. So I suggest you go back and see exactly what your father's will says.

You unfortunately don't say when your father died or iff an e state is pending. If you have reasons to file a will caveat then you might want to do so. But you have to have grounds for challenging the w ill and you do do not share that info either. I suggest that you consult a probate litigation attorney who practices in the county where the estate is or will be pending. If the estate is in Guilford County then I can highly recommend Gilbert Andia of Higgins & Benjamin. He is a very fine lawyer, although caveat litigation is not going to be chep.

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Answered on 10/13/16, 7:55 pm

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