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when does a will have to be filed

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I am in the state of North Carolina, my dad passed away about 2 weeks ago. I don't know if there is a will or not. My oldest brother says there is will but it has not been recorded, I want to know when a will has to be recorded. And also he says dad left him everything there was 3 boys and I really need to know if this can be done.

Thank You,



MAY 22, 2001


Don't automatically believe anything your brother tells you, because he may or may not be telling you the truth. You should check at the county courthouse to see if the will has been filed yet (it is normally required to be filed within 30 days of the person's death, but you really need to speak with a local attorney to find out what the time period is in North Carolina).

If the will has been filed, you can look at it or get a copy of it if you wish.

If it has not been filed, then you will probably have to wait a few weeks or a month until whoever has it decides to get it filed. You should also read the legal section/special notices section of your daily classified ads section of the newspaper, because when the will is filed they are also required to publish a notice of that filing (which will mention a date for a probate hearing) in the newspaper.

Ask your brother to please furnish you with a copy of the will, and if he won't do that, then be suspicious that maybe he is trying to take advantage of you by not informing you of what you are entitled to from the estate. Normal probate law in NC requires that children are supposed to be mentioned in a person's will. It is possible that Dad could have left him everything (but I don't think he is telling the truth), but you can possibly challenge that successfully in court.


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