What Is the Spousal Allowance or Dependent Allowance in North Carolina?

North Carolina law provides for a year’s allowance for the surviving spouse and dependent children of a deceased individual.

Under North Carolina law, the surviving spouse of the Decedent is entitled to the first $60,000 (this was increased from $30,000 beginning on January 1, 2019) of the Intestate or Testate Estate. Similarly, a dependent child of the Decedent may be entitled to a $5,000 allowance from the Intestate or Testate Estate.

The Court has specific forms for claiming the Year’s Allowance. A Surviving Spouse can also renounce the Spousal Allowance if he or she does not wish to claim it.


Losing a loved one is hard. The days and weeks after a loss are often fraught with grief, questions, and unfortunately, family complications. It’s a terrible time to try to think through a legal process clearly. It’s often a challenge just to know where to start. Maybe you’re not even sure what questions to ask and whom to ask. How do you know you’re getting good advice and doing it right? You could probably use some help. Our Understanding Estate Administration guide can help. This guide will give you an overview of the probate and estate administration process in plain English. Request your free copy here.


Jennifer Mercer
Paralegal, Probate and Estate Administration Team Lead