North Carolina’s Probate Process: A Quick Guide

After the death of a person, their estate must be handled as per the law. If the deceased died with a will, the executor is in charge of managing the estate affairs. If there was no will, the state laws would decide on inheritance. The probate is not just a complicated process, but for the grieving family, it can be hard to deal with. Whether you are an executor who has little understanding of the law or a family member, you need help on probate, and instead of trying to navigate through the legal process, hiring a lawyer is a good idea. You can schedule a free initial consultation with a top lawyer in North Carolina to get a quick overview and further assistance. Here’s what you need to know.

Understanding the basics

The overall meaning of probate is estate administration and determining whether the deceased has a valid will. Besides being confusing, the probate process may involve a considerable amount of paperwork, which must be filed in court. The first step is for the court to decide whether they have a valid will. The will is submitted to the probate court, and if it is valid, the executor will have the authority to administer the estate. In the next step, the creditors are informed of the probate. If there are dues like bills, taxes, and other debts and loans, the same will be handled first before the assets are distributed between the heirs as per the will.

The timeline

  1. Opening Probate: The probate process must be initiated by the executor of the Will within 60 days after the death of a person in North Carolina. If there is no will, the estate administrator is in latestforyouth charge.
  2. Informing creditors: Creditors of the estate must be identified by the executor. They should get proper and valid legal notices within 75 days from the date they received the letters of administration from the probate court.
  3. Creating an inventory: The executor or estate administrator will have to conduct an in-depth inventory of assets to identify everything that will be a part of the probate. As per laws in North Carolina, the same should be done within 90 days of the letters being granted.

Get an attorney to review the probate process so that you can avoid costly missteps that can cause further complexities. Consider getting answers to relevant questions related to the deceased’s will. 

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