What Happens if My Parents Still Need to Update Their Will Since I Was Born? Exploring the Implications!

Posted by James Carter on November 20th, 2023

Estate planning is a vital aspect of securing your family's financial future, but it requires regular maintenance to remain relevant and effective. An outdated estate plan can create complications during the probate process, particularly when it comes to children who were born or adopted after their parents' wills were executed. These children are known as "pretermitted" children in estate law, and their ability to inherit from their parents' estates is subject to specific rules and considerations.

The Impact of an Outdated Will

Parents who still need to update their wills to include children born or adopted after the will's execution may inadvertently create challenges for their families. It's a common misconception that a will written before becoming a parent will automatically include future children in their inheritance. However, in North Carolina, this is different.

For current or prospective parents, the solution is simple: update your will to include any present or future additions to your family. An estate law attorney can help ensure that the will or its amendments are properly executed and legally binding. However, if the issue was not addressed in time, and you are a child born or adopted after your now-deceased parent's will was created, it's essential to understand your rights.

Rules for Pretermitted Children

A pretermitted child in North Carolina is entitled to inherit according to the state's intestacy laws if certain conditions are not met:

  • Omitted Child Appears to Be Intentional: If it appears that omitting the child from the will was intentional, the child's inheritance rights may be limited.
  • Will Provides for the Child: Even if the will mentions the child nominally, it may suffice, ensuring the child has some inheritance rights.
  • Other Children Omitted in the Will: If the deceased parent had other children at the time the will was created and did not provide for them, this might affect the pretermitted child's inheritance.
  • Entire Estate Left to the Surviving Spouse: If the will explicitly shows a preference for the surviving spouse over the children concerning inheritance, this intent can extend to pretermitted children.
  • Other Provision Outside the Will: If there is another provision outside the will that transfers something to the child upon the parent's death, such as life insurance, the child may not need to claim intestate inheritance.

If none of these conditions apply, the pretermitted child can make a claim for their share of the parent's estate based on the intestacy laws, which dictate the default distribution of a person's estate when they do not have a will. The specifics can vary, but generally, surviving children may inherit a portion of the estate based on the number of children and surviving spouses involved.

It's crucial to note that intestacy laws do not apply to life insurance proceeds, property held in trust, or property with rights of survivorship. The probate process and intestacy laws can be complex and time-consuming. Therefore, it is highly advisable to consult with an estate law attorney when attempting to inherit via intestacy to navigate the process correctly.

Stepchildren and Adoption

In North Carolina, stepchildren are permitted to inherit in proportions equal to those of the couple's full children. However, children who have been legally adopted cannot inherit through intestacy laws from their biological parents, as the adoption process legally severs that relationship.

How CaMu Living Trust Can Help You?

CaMu Living Trust knows the complex rules about what happens to your stuff and money when you're not around anymore. They have a smart team led by Dr. Rafeek Mikhail and Mrs. Mary Mikhail, who know a lot about estate planning and money matters. They really care about making their customers happy.

If you ever have problems with things like old wills, getting what you're supposed to from someone's stuff when they're gone, or legal issues about estates, CaMu Living Trust can help you. They have lawyers who know all about this stuff and can guide you through it. They want to make sure your money and things go where they should, and they'll be there with you every step of the way.

Bottom Line

So, even if there's an old well that might cause problems for some family members, there are laws that can help protect your rights. The best thing you can do is update your will and get advice from experts like CaMu Living Trust. This way, you can make sure your family's money and things are safe, and you won't run into any legal troubles down the road.

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James Carter

About the Author

James Carter
Joined: October 6th, 2020
Articles Posted: 547

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