Death, even when you know it's gonna happen, is always unexpected and everyone reacts to death in a different way. Some grieve, some not so much and some are just concerned with "what am I going to get and is there any money hidden somewhere". Relatives, of course, are the worst when someone dies without a will - even if there's no money or property they're concerned with someone else getting something - God only knows what - but you can bet they want it because they feel entitled and they loved this person more than anyone else. Or maybe the deceased had told them they were going to make a will and leave everything to them and this person just happened to die before it could be done. Trust me, this happens! When that clock stops, it's done and over - no extra time to get your s___ together.
So speaking from experience, do yourself and your family a huge favor and make a Last Will and Testament. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. There are all kinds of forms on the internet
(http://www.wikihow.com/Sample/Last-Will-and-Testament-Form) or you can do a handwritten will which North Carolina will accept. Legally you don't have to make a will but in North Carolina if you don't have a will, your property will be distributed according to state law. And that's another story altogether since you might have wanted to skip some of your relatives.
There's always "turkey birds" in every family - they just come out in droves with their feathers ruffled when something like this happens - almost like vultures. Not pretty . . . .