Would probate process include me if I’m a stepson?

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Would probate process include me if I’m a stepson?

I am my mother’s eldest child and only son. My little brother passed a few years ago. I have 2 half-sisters whose dad, my step-dad of 50 years, just passed away a couple of weeks ago without leaving a Will, however he was adamant about wanting all his possessions and money to go to his blood children. Everything is going into probate. After the probate gets done with it all, what will happen to it? Won’t it go to my mom? If it does, she’s already said she is going to keep 1/3 and give the rest to the girls His blood children. I was just wondering what the normal course it usually takes and would the probate laws leave me out?

Asked on November 16, 2016 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Without a will, your step-father's assets or estate will pass according to "intestate succession," which are the rules for who gets what when there is no will. In your state, that means that if there are biological ("blood") children (the half sisters) and a spouse (your mother), the biological children and the spouse share in the estate: to oversimplify, you mother gets one-third the value of the real estate, any non-real estate money or assets up to $60,000 in value, and 1/3 the value over $60,000; the biological chilldren get the rest. A step child does not inherit anything unless there was a valid will.


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