Probate, Estate & Trust Administration

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Providing guidance when you need it most.

We’ve created a successful team process to help deal with the all-too-frustrating estate administration/probate process which often feels like endless bureaucrats and red tape. Our process allows you the luxury of grieving, which so often forgotten throughout the process of probate, by having your responsibilities assigned to our trusted estate administration team who will handle your matter from start to end. With our valuable network of professionals to aid us in administering the estate, you are afforded the time you need with your family to commemorate your loved one.

For the strong-willed, we are opening to working with you to develop a process that will allow you to run with the ball, because we understand what it means to fulfill these wishes as your loved one intended of you. Our goal will be to help you successfully navigate the many moving parts of probate or estate administration, so that you can properly address and close out every facet of the estate.

What Are Some Common Mistakes in Probate or Trust Administration?

If you are the appointed Executor, Administrator or Trustee then you have been left with the burden of ensuring the deceased’s wishes are carried out in the proper way as they have directed and according to North Carolina law. Most times there is no guidebook left by the deceased, but if you are lucky you have good estate plan documents and an idea of the estate’s assets and activities. Seeking an attorney to assist you in this process is key in making sure you can accomplish the duties left to you in the way the deceased intended. Missteps along the way can be costly and cause family issues or financial loss. Some of the most common mistakes Executors, Administrators and Trustees make are:

  • Failing to probate an estate to pass clean title to assets
  • Not locating assets or not extinguishing creditor claims
  • Failing to properly inform beneficiaries as to legal and tax implications of inheritance
  • Not following the Clerk’s mandated timeline for processing
  • Missing unknown assets or failing to protect known assets
  • Failing to properly file tax returns for deceased, estate and trusts
  • Taking steps which are not required, but create undo expenses and loss of assets

NC Planning can assist you to make the right decisions and avoid mistakes in the estate and trust administration process for all involved.

Probate, Estate & Trust Administration

What is Typically Involved in Probate?

Although there are some standard steps that all estates must go through for probate or proper administration the process varies greatly based on the specifics of the Will, the family and beneficiary situation, the type of assets and other aspects of the deceased’s life. Most estate administrations involve:

  1. Verifying if there was a Will, Trust or other document and whether it is valid or not.
  2. Gathering information regarding the assets, debts and other items pertaining to the deceased.
  3. Reviewing the distributions plan under the Will, Trust or North Carolina intestate law to determine who beneficiaries are and what they are entitled to.
  4. Meeting with and filing initial estate inventories and documents with the Clerk of Court in order receive appointment as Executor, Trustee or Administrator.
  5. Collecting assets, paying debts and communicating with beneficiaries.
  6. Filing accountings and other paperwork with the Clerk of Court regarding asset values, expenses and other items
  7. Publishing legal notice to creditors to extinguish any future claims against estate assets
  8. Preparing and filing any final tax returns of deceased and the estate or trust
  9. Selling and distributing property
  10. Preparing and filing closing documents with Clerk of Court to verify all items have been completed and assets distributed properly.

NC Planning’s involvement in probate and estate administration varies based on your needs. Some advantages we offer include providing an initial consultant with you as the Executor or Trustee, being there on an as-needed basis, completing process implementation and guiding you through the proper legal steps from start to finish. The choice is yours as to time and complexity to determine how much legal advice you desire to verify the proper administration is followed.

What You Need to Prepare

To assist in making the North Carolina probate and estate or trust administration process efficient and timely you should gather the following documents:

  • The original signed estate plan documents including Wills, Trusts or other planning documents.
  • A copy of the funeral bill showing payment
  • A general list of assets and debts.
  • Copies of any deeds or addresses for any real estate
  • Any life insurance, annuity, retirement plans or other benefit contracts, including policy numbers and names and addresses of the insurance companies.
  • Titling and information of any safe deposit boxes and the institutions in which they are held.
  • A list of final expenses, including last illness expenses, utility bills, property taxes or any other bills of this nature that are or were outstanding at the date of death.
  • Names and contact information for each potential or known beneficiary of the estate
  • Certified copy of the death certificate

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November 2019
December 2019

CLIENT STORY

True professionals! I use this firm for my business needs and as a small business owner it’s difficult to find a firm who understands your unique challenges. I so appreciate all they have done for me. I also use them for my personal estate planning and again, top notch! I highly recommend using this firm and let them help you!

-Amanda Haygood,
State Farm Insurance Agent

Why clients love us

True professionals! I use this firm for my business needs and as a small business owner it’s difficult to find a firm who understands your unique challenges. I so appreciate all they have done for me. I also use them for my personal estate planning and again, top notch! I highly recommend using this firm and let them help you!

 

-Amanda Haygood,
State Farm Insurance Agent

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