My sister died without a Will, how can we settle her estate?

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My sister died without a Will, how can we settle her estate?

She had 2 children out of wedlock. No one was appointed guardian, executor of the estate or power of attorney. We signed for her funeral expenses so she could have a decent burial but the state won’t make an assignment to pay the funeral Home. Also, we want her children to receive her state retirement contributions when they reach 18 years of age.

Asked on October 31, 2011 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the loss of the children.  Your sister is said to have died "intestate" meaning wth out a Will.  There are statutes in every state - known as intestacy statutes - that will determine how the proceeds from her estate are distributed.  It sounds here like the estate proceeds - what ever that they are - will go to her two children to share equally. Someone really does not to request to be appointed as their legal guardian if they are minors and to look in to the death benefits that they may be entitled to under the law in North Carolina, as well as the issue about her retirement benefits.  They may be able to receive them now.  Good luck to you all. 


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