Will my siblings and I share equally in my mother’s estate if they’ve borrowed money from her?

UPDATED: Mar 28, 2011

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Will my siblings and I share equally in my mother’s estate if they’ve borrowed money from her?

My mother has $300,000 in the bank, a large house, several plots of land and 10 rental houses. My 2 siblings have each borrowed $100,000 from mother; I’ve never borrowed from her. When she dies, how will things be dispersed? Would I get the $300,000 to settle up the debts and then get equal thirds as property is sold? Or will my siblings get their share with their debts being cleared at the last payment?

Asked on March 28, 2011 under Estate Planning, North Carolina


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Since you mention no Will I assume that there in none.  In such a case, your mother will die "intestate".  Accordingly the laws of the state in which she is domiciled as of the date of hedeath will control the distribution of her estate.  Typically, it is between a surviving spouse, if any, and the children of the deceased.  If only her 3 children survive her, your are right in stating that each will receive a 1/3 share.   

However, your mother's debts will first be paid out of the proceeds of the estate.  Then each heir will receive their full share.  No deductions for gifts will be made.  If these amounts were loans, then there should be something in writing evidencing this before your mother passes. Then the heirs share could be decreased by the loan amount (plus any interest, etc). Even better would be to have your mother execute a Will so that all of her intentions as to this and other estate matters are made known.  This way her estate will be distributed as per her wishes; not as per the state's.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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