What Does Probate Administration Involve?

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What Does Probate Administration Involve?

The complexity involved with probate administration largely depends on the size of your estate. In fact, even with a will, if you have a small estate, you may be able to avoid the formal probate process and administer the estate through an affidavit.

In North Carolina, you can submit an affidavit to the superior court clerk in the county where your loved one lived. The affidavit is an option when the value of the decedent’s personal property is less than $20,000 or when it is less than $30,000 and the spouse inherits everything under state law. Personal property does not include real estate. You have to wait 30 days after your loved one is deceased to submit the affidavit.

When the estate’s value exceeds what an affidavit allows, you must go through the regular probate process. Probate administration typically involves these steps based on state law:

  • Filing a petition with the district court civil division
  • Locating the will (provided that one exists)
  • Qualifying the individual named as executor or personal representative with the court (usually a spouse or family member)
  • Inventorying the assets
  • Notifying creditors (creditors have three months from the publication of the notice to present their claims)
  • Paying creditors
  • Filing tax returns and pay taxes due
  • Preparing an annual account with the court if probate takes more than one year
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries of the estate
  • Preparing the final account with the court to close the estate

Estate planning attorneys at John F. Hanzel, P.A. assist clients in the Charlotte area with their estate planning and probate needs. Call for an appointment.