Ashley Kevitt

Ashley Kevitt

  • Estate Planning, Probate
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Practice Areas
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
Languages
  • English
Professional Associations
North Carolina State Bar
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Legal Answers
5 Questions Answered

Q. Are hand written wills legal in North Carolina,
A: A hand written will is referred to as a Holographic will. In North Carolina a Holographic will must be written entirely in the testator's (person executing the will) handwriting. Anything else on the will not in the testator's handwriting will not have any affect on how valid the parts written in the testator's handwriting are. 31-3.4. Holographic will. The Holographic will must also be signed by the testator or at least have his or her name on the will in his or her own handwriting. Finally the Holographic will must be found among other valuable papers or in a safety-deposit box or somewhere else safe that the testator put it or authorized someone else to place it for safekeeping. It is always a good idea to have the Holographic will reviewed by an attorney and to also make sure no legally prepared or typed document was also prepared that could be used to contest the handwritten will. *Please note that I am not representing you and am not giving you legal advice as a client. Always contact an attorney to have one-on-one legal advice and an answer that will address your exact position.
Q. ... I I was taking care of my elderly Uncle he was taken from me because of false accusations
A: First and foremost you need to make sure you have a copy or original of the Will. In the Will an executor is named and that is the person who must go to the clerk and open the estate. If you are named as the beneficiary of the house your Uncle had then the clerk will make sure the executor gives that property to you. The power of attorney is a separate matter that is now no longer in place since your Uncle has died. While people may not agree with how your Uncle used his money to help you, that does not necessarily mean that you did anything wrong. As long as your followed your fiduciary duty (acted in the best interest for your Uncle) then you did not violate the Power of Attorney and while family members may be upset, that does not give rise to a legal argument. You are always free to hire a lawyer and I encourage you to do so and at least determine what the estate situation is now that your Uncle has passed and what is actually going to you through his Will.
Q. I am the executor over my dead mothers land and can my siblings take away what she left me
A: The first place to start is to get the original or at least a copy of the Will. If you are the Executor then you are in charge of opening the estate and eventually distributing all of your mother’s assets. The Will will dictate how those assets are to be split and who gets what. In NC real property (land) goes to all the heirs equally unless something else is said in the Will. That said, if you signed something agreeing to take less that could change your share. I would suggest going to a probate/estate administration attorney to move forward.
Q. Is $60,000 one-year spousal allowance allowed to be deducted before division of estate between beneficiaries per will?
A: I believe you are confusing two separate options. A year’s allowance allows for the surviving spouse to receive the first $60,000 before paying any debts or other beneficiaries (with some exceptions). The elective share allows for the surviving spouse, within 6 months after the estate is opened to possibly claim a larger portion of the deceased spouse’s estate. The length of marriage determines how much of a percentage to which the surviving spouse is so entitled. If the couple were married for less than five years, 15%. If the couple were married for less than 10 years, 25%. If the couple were married for less than 15 years, 33%, and if the couple were married 15 years or more, then 50%. I would suggest you consult an estate attorney to determine the particular circumstances and options in your matter.
Q. My wife's parents have passed on and the oldest sibling was appointed as executor.
A: Since this is your wife's parents it is likely that she is a beneficiary and you may not be, meaning her parents left things to her in their Wills and maybe not to you. If you are not a beneficiary you do not have to be informed of everything going on with the estate. Your wife on the other hand would be entitled to request and receive information regarding the status of the estate and what is happening with the assets. That said if you need to sign to approve someone it sounds like you may be a beneficiary. Or if not a beneficiary, might have been put as a back up Executor. I would suggest your wife ask to see a copy of the Will. If the other parties will not provide a copy then you can go to the Clerk of Court's office in the court house where the estate is open and request to see the Will as that is public record.
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Averett Family Law
50101 Governor's Drive
Suite 150
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
USA
Telephone: (919) 903-9442