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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12625
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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My dad just passed and the only heirs are me and my brother.

Customer Question

my dad just passed and the only heirs are me and my brother. he has stated to me that he is to get everything except 50,000..00 which is only 12.5% of my dads estate. my dad told me there was no will and eveything was to be sold and divided but now my brother says that there is a will but will not let me see it nor will he let me have access to my dads home or personal property, but my brother has access to it all and is driving one of my dads vehicles. i have asked several times to see the will but up until today have gotten no response and he tells me i can;t see it until monday but that was after i told him i was planning on going to see the clerk of court to get started on probating dad's estate. should i hire an attorney to assist me with this because i am afraid the will will a fake or he wouldnt have a problem with me seeing it.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.

I'm so sorry for your loss. And, I'm more sorry about what is happening. I think you would be well advised to get a probate attorney to assist you. If there was not a will, then state law would dictate how your father's estate is to be distributed. If there is, and your brother is in possession of it, he should give you a copy of it, especially if are an heir, as you would be entitled to a copy. Furthermore, the will needs to be filed with the Clerk of Court. You likely don't know whether it has been filed or not, but once it is, it is public record -meaning you or anyone else could request a copy.

Your brother does not have the right to prohibit you from your father's home or personal property. Assets need to be properly preserved and valued, and an inventory would have to be done of his estate. I would have concerns about what your brother may be doing in the house or to the house, and if that could affect property value, since the two of you may wish to sell the home in the future.

The North Carolina Bar Association offers a lawyer referral service that can help put you in touch with a local qualified attorney, and give you a 30 minute consultation for $50. You can find more information about that here.

Did you need clarification or additional information about my answer? If so, please reply, I'm happy to assist further. Otherwise, please remember to leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars, as experts are not employees of this site and we are only paid if you leave a positive rating. Thank you.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
he says he has the will but refuses to even let me look at it. he said i could see it on monday and i am not to touch anything or nothing is to be moved until the will is probated and i am not to contact him again until meeting on monday. he has not filed it with the clerks office to my knowledge. he had not even discussed any of this with me until i told him i was going to talk to the clerk of court to find out what needs to be done on daddy's estate and he told me no i was not to go talk to the clerk. what i cant understand is why he wont let me see the will unless he has or is fabricating one and i hate to even think that but why else would he not want me to see it today as opposed to monday which is when he is allowing me to see it. if my brother produces a will when would i need to file my petition to contest.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

Your brother can't stop you from talking to the Clerk of Court. I agree that assets shouldn't be sold off or otherwise disposed of, but I too share your concern -why not show you the will now?

The petition can be filed anytime after he files the will. In North Carolina, that procedure is called a “will caveat.” The law allows any party interested in the estate to file a petition challenging the purported will – called a caveat – in the decedent’s estate file. Once that happens, the Clerk of Court will transfer the case to Superior Court to be resolved by a jury trial.

After the case is transferred, there is an initial hearing – called an alignment hearing – at which all interested parties, after receiving notice from the Court, may appear and align themselves with either the caveator (the one challenging the purported will) or the propounder (the one trying to probate the purported will). If an interested party does not want to participate in the proceeding, they need not appear at the alignment hearing. They will simply be dismissed from the case, though they will remain bound by the result.

After the alignment hearing, the case proceeds through discovery and trial much like any other civil lawsuit. While the case is pending, the Clerk will enter an order that stays many aspects of the estate administration, including preventing any distributions of estate assets to beneficiaries of the challenged will until the caveat is resolved.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 8 months ago.

Just following up with you. Did you need clarification or additional information about my answer? If so, please reply, I'm happy to assist further. Otherwise, please remember to leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars, as experts are not employees of this site and we are only paid if you leave a positive rating. Thank you.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 8 months ago.

Hello, just following up with you since a couple of days has passed.

Did you need clarification or additional information about my answer? If so, please reply, I'm happy to assist further. Otherwise, please remember to leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars, as experts are not employees of this site and we are only paid if you leave a positive rating. Thank you.