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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36226
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My brother died without a will. He has three surviving siblings,

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My brother died without a will. He has three surviving siblings, deceased parents, never married and no children. He has a small estate. How do we settle the estate?
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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Does he have more in assets than he has in debts?
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Does he own any real estate or is it all personal property like vehicles, household items and bank accounts?
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Are you wanting to know who gets what or how to actually probate his estate?
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He has a vehicle (2013 Toyota Avalon balance $12,000 owed), personal household items, land in North Carolina value $8,000 circa) bank accounts jointly owned.


How do we probate this case? We want to clear a rented apartment and settle the car and land.

Ok, since real estate is involved, someone would have to file a petition in the local probate court in the county where brother passed to open a probae case and be appointed Administrator. Then they would have the legal authority to take possession of any assets in the state, pay any creditors, and then distribute any surplus to the heirs at law. In this case, since he had no children or wife and his parents were deceased, the heirs at law would be his siblings who would divide any assets equally.
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The problem comes in because if he owned land in NC and passed in DC, then the Adminstrator would have to hire an attorney in NC to file an "ancillary probate" to probate the land there. This is because probate is state specific and anywhere the decedent owned real estate, the Administrator has to file a probate case in order to get a probate court to give them the authority to transfer or sell the land.
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So if the land there is only worth $8K, and an attorney charges $2K up front to open the case, there isn't a whole lot left to work with once you sell it and pay any realtor fees...
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As for the apartment, once someone is appointed Adminstrator, they then can enter the apt and remove any personal property so it can be disposed of.
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Thanks
Barrister
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