The will of a loved one may be read after his or her funeral. But the heirs do not receive their inheritance or gifts until the estate has been settled.
Probate is the process of dispersing the property of a deceased individual to his or her heirs under the supervision of the court. The process involves filling out numerous legal forms and filing them in a timely manner.
Probate is not required in every case. But in many cases, the court must appoint someone—typically a relative—to take stock of the deceased person’s assets, settle their debts, pay taxes and then transfer their assets to those who inherit them.
The first step is understanding how probate works and whether probate is required in your situation. Many smaller estates with few assets may be eligible under North Carolina law to be settled through alternative processes rather than the formal probating off the estate.
To use the online tool, you begin by entering your loved one’s date of death into the toolbar. Then the Raleigh estate planning lawyers at Brady Cobin Law Group will guide you through the process and help prevent missteps. The probate tool will help you understand the legal requirements to publish a notice to creditors in the local newspaper and to file a detailed inventory of the estate.
The probate process begins by determining whether the deceased person left a valid will. The family should look through the deceased’s papers and check for a safety deposit box, where wills are often stored. If a will is found, then North Carolina law requires that the original document be filed with the Clerk of Superior Court in the deceased’s county of residence. You (the executor) must submit an application to the clerk, along with the will, a preliminary inventory of the estate and a certified copy of the deceased’s death certificate.
If there is no will, the surviving spouse or another heir will need to contact the Superior Court Clerk. You will need to apply to be appointed an administrator to handle the estate and submit a preliminary inventory of the assets of the estate. The surviving spouse has priority to be named as administrator of the estate.
A wills and estates attorney can help those creating a will choose a proper executor and help prospective executors understand the expectations involved with this legal role.
The Raleigh estate attorneys at Brady Cobin Law Group understand that probating a loved one’s estate as well as dealing with the heirs can be stressful. It generally takes a minimum of six months to a year to settle an estate. This is due to the legal notice requirements and time that creditors have to submit claims against the estate.
If you are unsure of the process, it is best to speak to a wills and estates attorney to better understand your situation and the legal steps that may be required as you move forward.
At Brady Cobin Law Group, our probate wills attorneys can help you prepare for probate after your loved one’s death and, depending on your circumstances, perhaps help simplify the process.
Keep in mind that the clerk of court cannot give legal advice. If the documents needed for probate are filled out incorrectly, the clerk cannot tell you how to correct your forms.
Working with a knowledgeable attorney to help you with probate can make the process less stressful and ensure that all of the legal requirements are met. The experienced attorneys at Brady Cobin Law Group know how to navigate the issues that arise during the probate process and craft workable solutions.
The attorneys at the Brady Cobin Law Group, PLLC can help you prepare a will or navigate the probate process after a loved one’s death in North Carolina. If you would like to speak to one of the attorneys today, please call (919) 782-3500 or visit https://ncestateplanning.com/.