Ask SAM

Q: I am pleased to see the repaving of Reynolda Road, but can you tell us if there are plans to raise the manhole covers? They’re very deep right now.

S.J.

Answer: That work is still underway, according to Pat Ivey with the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The state DOT’s section of Reynolda Road “is under contract for repaving and currently in progress,” he said. “While the main road has been milled and resurfaced, the contractor is currently paving intersections and other irregular areas. There are approximately 75 manholes, water valves and other structures that still have to be adjusted on this project. The contractor plans to begin the adjustments as soon as the paving work is completed.”

Q: I need to know what kind of attorney I need to contact to have my brother declared legally dead. He disappeared nine years ago and no one has heard from him since. In 2015, I hired a private investigator when I was trying to close our mom’s estate, but he couldn’t locate him. Having him declared legally dead was an option my mom’s attorney gave me in 2010 if he didn’t show up for eight years.

L.W.

Answer: An attorney familiar with estate administration should be able to assist you, according to Mike Wells, a local attorney and former president of the North Carolina Bar Association.

He said that North Carolina General Statute Chapter 28C provides the framework for applying to the court for necessary direction to have the court declare your brother deceased, and a framework for resolving claims and debts of the missing brother.

“The statutory procedure requires a few additional steps to assure the court that every reasonable effort has been made to locate the brother, including the presentation of all efforts made to locate him,” he said. “But the length of time which has passed since the brother disappeared and the extensive efforts of the writer to locate his brother appear to be solid good faith actions.”

He also suggested that you inquire of the North Carolina Bar Association Lawyer Referral program to locate an attorney who handles estate administration claims in the geographical area in which the brother resided before his disappearance. You can call them at 800-662-7660.

“The writer can receive a 30-minute conference with the designated attorney for no more than $50,” he said. “The writer may also wish to follow up with the attorney who handled the estate of the mother of the writer and the missing brother for further assistance.”

Q: In what episode of “The Brady Bunch” did the Brady girls get adopted and get the last name “Brady.” Maybe it’s something I didn’t really pay attention to.

J.B.

Answer: There was never a scene that explicitly explained it, but since Marcia, Jan and Cindy all took the last name “Brady” throughout the series, it’s safe to assume they were officially adopted by Mike Brady at some point, perhaps after the premiere episode that depicted the wedding of Mike and Carol and before the series began in earnest. That’s the way they all became the Brady Bunch.

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Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101 

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