The Raleigh probate process can be long and tedious, resulting in many people who want to create estate plans that will alleviate their heirs from having to go through probate. Probate is the court-supervised process that gives a person authority to transfer assets to heirs.

When Is Probate Unnecessary?

If you have assets that are only in your name, these assets can be easily transferred to the inheritor without the need of probate. Here are other situations that will not require probate:

  • If you own an asset with another person, the asset will automatically go to the other person that owns it with you.
  • Any assets that you have outside of your will, which would be your 401 (k), retirement accounts, or any account that you named a beneficiary.
  • If you have a life insurance policy, where you named a beneficiary then that person will inherit the funds without going through probate.
  • Any assets that are in a revocable living trust.

What About an Affidavit?

Depending on the amount the estate is worth, North Carolina may allow you to get approval from the probate court so that you can skip over the formal probate. If the estate (aside from real estate) is worth less than $20,000 and a minimum of 30 days have passed, you can file the form. You just have to fill out a simple form, which can be found on North Carolina’s courts website. After you have completed the form and filed it, you will then go to the bank or the inheriting institutions with the certified documents to get the asset in your name. Then, they will need to file another affidavit, within 90 days of filing the first affidavit, showing how all of the assets were distributed among heirs.

Who are the Executors and the Administrators?

An executor is someone who was named in the will. An administrator is someone who is appointed to represent the estate, in the case that there is no will or the person named as the executor is not available or willing to complete the task. If you want to be the adminstrator, you should plan to apply at the clerks office in the county court where the deceased individual lived. Along with filing this form, you will also need to have a preliminary list or inventory of all of the person’s assets and an estimated value. Lastly, there will be a fee of $120 that you will have to pay in order to open the estate.

If you are the executor, you have the authority to handle all of the assets. From here, you will take the oath of office, where you will swear to fulfill your duties.

If you have any out of pocket expenses due to this position, you are eligible for reimbursement, as well as compensation for all the work it will take to settle the estate.

Contact The Law Corner For Help With Your Estate Plan.

Estate plans are complex and can be overwhelming. To create an estate plan that gives you the peace of mind that you have control over your assets in the event that something unexpected happens to you, contact The Law Corner at 919-424-8319. Whether you are looking to do a basic will or need a complex estate plan that will allow you to avoid probate, we are always in your corner and here to help.