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My dad died recently and does his wife entitle to his assets while they was married

This legal question related to Real estate attorneys in North CarolinaNorth Carolina has been answered.

Location: North Carolina  |  Law type: Real estate attorneys

My dad died and there was a car bought while they was married is she entitled to car. The car is in my daddy’s name but not hers. 

Commonly posted questions...

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3 weeks 4 days ago, Real estate attorneys, San Francisco

Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to Real estate attorneys in the jurisdiction of North Carolina. The previous inquiry was brief, complicating a thorough response.

Inheritance Rights of a Spouse in North Carolina

When a person passes away in North Carolina, their surviving spouse has certain rights to their assets, including property acquired during the marriage. The issue you've described revolves around an automobile acquired during the marriage, registered solely under your father's name.

Relevant Legal Provisions:

Potential Resolutions:

  1. Intestate Succession: If your father died without a will (intestate), his assets will be divided based on North Carolina's intestate succession laws. The surviving spouse is typically entitled to a portion of the deceased's assets, which may include the car.
  2. Spousal Elective Share: In the event your father had a will that did not provide for his wife, she can claim an "elective share", which is a portion of the deceased's total assets.
  3. Probate Process: The car and other assets will likely go through the probate process. During this process, the legitimacy of claims over assets will be verified.
  4. Consultation with probate lawyers: Given the intricacies of inheritance law, consulting with a professional will provide clarity on your specific situation.

Average Legal Costs in North Carolina:

Service Average Price
Initial Consultation with a Lawyer $250 - $400
Handling Intestate Succession $1,200 - $2,500
Spousal Elective Share Claim $1,500 - $3,000
Complete Probate Process $2,500 - $6,000

Note: Prices can vary based on the complexity of the case, the reputation of the attorney, and specific regional pricing dynamics.

Clarification and Next Steps:

It would be helpful to know if your father had a will and if there are other assets in question. Understanding the broader context can offer a more accurate legal path forward. It's essential to find the right lawyer who can guide you through the inheritance process to ensure your family's rights are protected.

Relevant Questions:

  • Did your father have a valid will at the time of his death?
  • Are there other assets involved that might be disputed?
  • Has the probate process been initiated for your father's estate?

What are the specific rights of a surviving spouse in North Carolina?

The surviving spouse generally has rights to a portion of the deceased's assets under intestate succession or through an elective share if there's a will.

How long does the probate process usually take in North Carolina?

The probate process in North Carolina can take several months to over a year, depending on the complexity of the estate and if there are any disputes.

Can a car be transferred without going through probate?

In some instances, if the car's value is below a certain threshold or if it's jointly owned, it might be possible to transfer without probate.

What happens if there are debts associated with the car?

If there are outstanding debts or liens on the car, they need to be settled before the car can be transferred to a new owner.

Is it possible for the surviving spouse to waive their rights to an asset?

Yes, a surviving spouse can waive their rights to certain assets, but this decision should be made with legal advice to understand the implications.


This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

Written, answered, changed

Legal question "My dad died recently and does his wife entitle to his assets while they was married" has been changed 2 months 3 weeks ago. Demonstrate your legal skills and willingness to help and answer right now! Issue is related to the location of North Carolina & area of law: Real estate attorneys.
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