When a person dies without a valid will they are said to be intestate. Their property is then divided according to state law and passes to the deceased’s lineal heirs or if there are no lineal heirs the estate passes to the deceased’s collateral heirs. When a person dies with a valid will they are said to be testate and property is distributed according to the terms of the will.
Whether a person dies testate or intestate the law requires that the distribution of their property and assets be supervised by the Court. The process of settling an estate in North Carolina is not as complicated as it can be in other states, however, it is still a good idea to have the assistance of an experienced attorney.