Probate refers to the legal process of administering the estate assets of someone who has died. If you are the administrator or personal representative of a deceased loved one’s estate, you may find the North Carolina probate process complex and overwhelming at times. You will most certainly need the assistance of an experienced probate attorney in Sanford North Carolina to guide you through the process. A probate attorney in Sanford North Carolina can provide you with the advice and legal representation you need to appropriately handle the administration of your loved one’s estate.
Not all estate assets are required to go through the probate process. In North Carolina, some assets that can be transferred outside of probate include:
- assets the deceased person owned in joint tenancy;
- real estate the deceased person owned with his or her spouse in “tenancy by the entirety”;
- retirement accounts for which the deceased person named a beneficiary, or payable-on-death bank accounts;
- life insurance proceeds or pension benefits that are payable to a named beneficiary; and
- assets held in a revocable living trust.
If the value of an estate is small enough, the state of North Carolina offers the option of an expedited procedure to transfer the assets of an estate without having to go through formal probate. This requires the filing of a completed Affidavit For Collection Of Personal Property Of Decedent with the clerk of the superior court in the county where the deceased individual resided. Once filed, a certified copy may be presented to institutions holding the estate assets, and new title documents will be issued. If a probate proceeding had not already been initiated, the person filing the affidavit will receive the personal property of the estate, pay any estate creditors, and then distribute the remainder of the estate assets to the appropriate heirs.