Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in North Carolina

I inherited my mothers house which the estate hasn't been settled because she left my daughter 15000 dollars which she didn't have so the attorney says I have to pay that to inherit the the meantime I lost a cort judgement for 900 dollars plus fees which is now 1650 dollars the attorney for the plaintiff is attemepting to force the sale of my mothers house that she willed to me to pay the judgement is this legal??

Asked on 8/28/13, 1:34 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Yes. If there is not enough in the estate to pay any claims, then assets have to be sold and claims paid in order of priority before the beneficiaries get anything. If the deceased owns land then it can be reclaimed by the estate and sold to pay the creditors. If there is enough money to pay any claims but not enough money to pay the beneficiaries, then the bequests in the will are abated in a set order. If there is no money for your daughter but the house is left to you, then the daughter gets nothing and you get the house. It sounds like if you have to pay then there is not enough money in the estate to pay the creditors.

My advice to you would be to settle the judgment. If you do not and the lawyer finds out that you have an interest in the home, the judgment will act as a lien. If the home is owned free and clear, I presume its worth more than $1650 and you should be able to get a small personal loan to take care of the judgment. However, you will also need to know how much money is needed to pay estate claims and borrow that as well or else the house will have to be sold and the proceeds used to pay the claims. Any excess would then be returned to you except the judgment amount would have to be satisfied..

Did you exempt any interest in the home? Or does the value exceed the amount allowed by state exemptions?

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Answered on 8/28/13, 1:50 pm

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