Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in North Carolina

My mother has passed away and what she held in her checking and saving's account passed to me. She passed away in March of this year. I have held on to this money to be sure no outstanding medical bills remained. It is now August and I have been told she owes nothing. Do I have to report this money as income come tax time. I live in North Carolina.

Asked on 8/22/16, 4:40 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

It does not matter where you live. Inheritance laws are governed by where your mother lived at the time of her death. Only income is taxable. This was an inheritance, not income. Assuming your mother lived in NC at the time of her death, no inheritance taxes are owed. Other states have them so you should check with an attorney who practices in the state your mother lived if it was not NC. A tax attorney or CPA should be able to assist.

I don't know why you held the money. In most instances, money in a bank account is a non-probate asset and passes to the beneficiary. Unless this was some kind of a joint bank account, it could not be reached by any creditors. You do not indicate whether your mother had any probate assets; if so, an estate should be probated for her.

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Answered on 8/22/16, 7:33 pm

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