If you have not heard of James Iredell, you are not alone. He is one of the forgotten Founding Fathers of the United States. Iredell was a British Customs employee and North Carolina citizen. He became a leading advocate for revolution in North Carolina. Later, he became a leading advocate for ratification of the Constitution. Iredell was highly regarded enough for President Washington to appoint him as one of the first Justices on the United States Supreme Court.
Iredell left behind many important personal papers and documents of great historical significance. After almost 100 years, those documents are going back to his heirs. An earlier heir had loaned the documents to the North Carolina Historical Commission and forgot to mention them in his Will. It was only recently that the current heirs learned the documents were loaned not given as an outright gift. They have been in a dispute with the Historical Commission for the return of the documents and the North Carolina Court of Appeals recently decided the matter in favor of the heirs.
The entire dispute should have been avoided. When you leave something out of your estate plan, you risk that there will be later disputes about it. Make sure you tell your attorney about everything you have.
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