What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process by which the state ensures that the assets of a deceased person are distributed, after payment of debts and taxes, in accordance with the terms of the will – or if there is no will, in accordance with state law. The complexity of the probate process depends on a number of circumstances, including the types of assets included in the probate estate, the debts of the decedent and the willingness of the involved parties to cooperate. The experienced attorneys at Warren, Shackleford & Thomas can guide you through the probate process, regardless of the nature and complexity of the probate.
What are the steps in the probate process?
In North Carolina, the probate process typically involves the following steps:
- Notice to heirs under the will or to statutory heirs, if no will exists.
- Petition the Court to appoint Executor, in the case of a will, or Administrator for the estate.
- Inventory and appraisal of estate assets by Executor/Administrator.
- Publish a Notice to Creditors advertisement in a qualified newspaper.
- Payment of estate debt to rightful creditors.
- Sale of estate assets.
- Payment of estate taxes, if applicable.
- Final distribution of assets to heirs.
- Final accounting filed with the Court.
Do you need to open an Estate?
A full probate administration is not always required. There are other simplified methods available for smaller estates, including Collection by Affidavit, Application and Assignment Year’s Allowance and Summary Administration.
If you have experienced the loss of a family member, let Warren, Shackleford & Thomas help you with the legal process to ensure the proper transfer and distribution of your loved ones assets, protection of minor children and other important concerns. Whether the estate is large or small, we are here to help. Contact us today to set up your consultation.