Estate Administration and Settlement

The complexities of estate administration and settlement can be overwhelming during an already challenging time. We provide compassionate and knowledgeable guidance throughout the entire process.

We have extensive experience helping clients handle estate matters, and Nick offers assistance to beneficiaries, trustees, and personal representatives in North Carolina with probate, estate, and trust administration.

From validating the will and filing inventories to paying creditors and distributing assets, Nick ensures that the estate is administered in accordance with the law and the wishes of the deceased.

Understanding Estate Administration

  • Estate Definition: An estate encompasses all the real estate, personal property, and debts owned by a person at the time of their death.

  • Probate Process: Probate involves presenting a Will to the court for validation. Once probated, the estate is administered according to the Will and North Carolina law. This includes filing inventories, paying creditors, distributing assets, and often seeking legal assistance.

  • Intestate Administration: When a person dies without a Will, their estate is administered solely based on North Carolina law. The process is similar to probate but lacks specific instructions from a Will.

Executor, Administrator, and Personal Representative

  • Roles: Executors and administrators are personal representatives of a deceased person’s estate. The Clerk of Superior Court appoints an executor if there’s a Will. If no Will exists or it’s deemed invalid, an administrator is appointed.

  • Duties: Executors and administrators are responsible for tasks such as opening the estate, filing the Will, inventorying assets, listing beneficiaries, transferring titles, paying creditors, filing taxes, publishing estate notices, maintaining records, and distributing assets to beneficiaries.

Posting Bond

  • Purpose: Executors or administrators may be required to obtain a bond, acting as an insurance policy for the estate. It ensures proper management of the estate’s assets.

  • Bond Requirement: The bond amount is at least 125% of the estate’s personal property value. The premium paid typically ranges from 1% to 4% of the bond value.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

  • Importance: An EIN serves as a tax identification number for the estate. It’s necessary for filing tax returns and opening accounts in the estate’s name. You can obtain an EIN from the IRS website.

Role of a Trustee

  • Trust Administration: Trustees oversee the administration of trusts, following the trust instrument, federal law, and North Carolina law. There are various types of trusts, each with specific requirements.

  • Trustee Duties: Common trustee duties include understanding the trust terms, managing assets, distributing funds to beneficiaries, approving or disapproving fund requests, paying bills, filing tax returns if necessary, and providing regular statements to beneficiaries.

Comprehensive Assistance

We provide guidance for executors, administrators, personal representatives, and trustees throughout the entire administration process. With our knowledge of probate courts and trust instruments, we effectively support you in these complex matters.