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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: US Law
Satisfied Customers: 30039
Experience:  Over 20 years of high volume criminal defense work,including all aspects of a case from arraignment to plea or trial.
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I have been named in a Will of 1985. The person died 2 years

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I have been named in a Will of 1985. The person died 2 years ago. I have now been told(2 years later) that a new Will has been found dated 2005. The first Will has been registered with the North Carolina Court ( and I have received a copy from the Court as to being a beneficiary) I would like to know if this new Will is legal after the Will of 1985 had been registered. I was a beneficiary to this Will of 1985 and yesterday heard from one of the sons that this new Will has turned up which has been signed by the deceased and witnessed
Kind regards ***** *****

My name is ***** ***** I am a US lawyer.

As the estate has not been fully administered and closed yet, this will will have to be admitted to probate, and if it is found to be a valid will the terms will supercede the ones in the will of 1985. It can, of course, be contested as part of that process.

The way to find out what is going on with regard to the new will would be to contact the executor of the estate. Your son may know who that person is. Failing that, you could contact the North Carolina Court where the first will has been registered and get the name and contact information of the executor.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Zoey - thank you for your reply which is enlightening - how does one find out whether the 1985 Will is fully administered and closed.. I was informed by the Court that I was a beneficiary some 2 years ago but sadly the nephews didn't inform me about this and I only found out in December 2014. I received an email last night to say there was a further Will. Hypothetically had I received 1m pounds soon after the death under the Will of 1985 would this be taken from me now that this Will has been found? I have been offered the amount that it would take to get this new Will registered and to supersede the Will of 1985. Any ideas on the cost of admitting this will to Probate (I think this will be the only sum I am entitled to! Thank you

The clerk of the court should be able to tell you the status of the matter. So could the executor of the estate.

If the estate is already fully administered and closed, then the estate would have to be reopened in order to deal with the new will. Whether that will be allowed will depend upon a number of variables, but it's not a sure thing. First of all, the will would have to be a valid will -- properly executed and attested to. Also, to reopen the estate, the new will would have to distribute the assets differently.

I have no idea what the cost would be in North Carolina. You could call the North Carolina Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service. It might be a good idea to consult with a NC estate attorney and make sure that your interests with regard to this are protected.

As to your hypothetical, from what I see in NC law, there's a three year statute of limitations involved. That is, if the new will was found more than three years after the estate had already been fully administed and closed, it could no longer be reopened. However, if the estate could still be reopened and distributions were different in the second will than in the first, then yes, monies could be reshuffled.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much for making things very clear hence I will not take this any further - kind regards ***** ***** you

You're very welcome!