That typically presents a significant problem. Under North Carolina law, your property probably would not go to the people to whom you might wish to leave that property unless you have a legally valid Estate
What Happens When You Don’t Have An Estate Plan?
For example, suppose a married couple has 2 children and one parent dies with no Estate Plan. What
happens? As to real estate, the surviving spouse gets 1/3rd of the real estate, such as the family home. The children split the remaining ownership of the family home with the surviving parent.
Similarly, as to personal property, such as automobiles, furniture, and jewelry, if there was no Estate Plan, the serving spouse gets the first $60,000 of the personal property, with the remainder split with the children or their heirs.
That’s almost certainly not what the couple wanted.
Some people prefer a will. Others need a trust, or a will with a trust attached, in the even that both parents die prematurely and their property needs to be used to raise the children and perhaps pay for college. Other individuals need trusts to take care of children who will always require assistance.
There are many variations but the simple facts of what happens when someone dies without any Estate Plan
is a good reason to seek assistance from a qualified attorney in developing your individual plan.