(a) Personal Property. - Subsequent to the death of the decedent and prior to the appointment and qualification of the personal representative or collector, the title and the right of possession of personal property of the decedent is vested in the decedent's heirs; but upon the appointment and qualification of the personal representative or collector, the heirs shall be divested of such title and right of possession which shall be vested in the personal representative or collector relating back to the time of the decedent's death for purposes of administering the estate of the decedent. But, if in the opinion of the personal representative, the personal representative's possession, custody and control of any item of personal property is not necessary for purposes of administration, such possession, custody and control may be left with or surrendered to the heir or devisee presumptively entitled thereto.
(b) Real Property. - The title to real property of a decedent is vested in the decedent's heirs as of the time of the decedent's death; but the title to real property of a decedent devised under a valid probated will becomes vested in the devisees and shall relate back to the decedent's death, subject to the provisions of G.S. 31-39. (1973, c. 1329, s. 3; 2011-344, s. 4.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014