If my husband passed away and had a Will that left all he had to his 3 grandkids, does I have any say about this?

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If my husband passed away and had a Will that left all he had to his 3 grandkids, does I have any say about this?

Asked on July 19, 2019 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Like most states, North Carolina does not let a spouse completely disinherit his spouse (i.e. leave everything to someone else). You have the right to receive an "elective share" regardless of what the will says in an amount ranging from 15% of his estate if you were married less than 5 years, up to a maximum of 50% of his estate if married 15 years or more. His grandchildren will then get the balance as per the will. You have to take affirmative steps (do things) to get your elective share; ideally, hire a probate attorney to help you, but if you can't afford one, contact the probate court's clerks' office; they may be able to direct you to instructions and forms.


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