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5 Concerns for First-Time Executors
Posted on: June 6th, 2017
A person serving as executor for the first time must manage the time demands of the probate process while allowing leeway for their own learning curve. Our probate attorneys produced a few overviews of the estate administration process to help facilitate a productive start....
Pros and Cons of Living Probate in North Carolina
Posted on: June 5th, 2017
Living probate legislation was passed in North Carolina almost two years ago. While many issues may be prevented if a testator properly implements living probate during their lifetime, some estate administration issues nevertheless might occur. ...
North Carolina Small Estates Administration
Posted on: May 19th, 2017
Executors may discover throughout the course of estate administration that the value of the estate falls within North Carolina’s statutory threshold for small estates. For qualifying estates, the law provides a means for heirs to receive the decedent’s property with minimal or no probate administration....
First Forms for North Carolina Executors
Posted on: May 12th, 2017
Certain forms must be filed before an individual may begin serving as executor or administrator of an estate in North Carolina. If the individual is ready to move forward, the first forms they should review include the following....
Important North Carolina Probate Forms
Posted on: May 9th, 2017
Executors must maintain records of accounting and other required documentation as part of their administrative duties. Customarily, the following probate forms are used for North Carolina estates (links provided to official documents where available)...
Managing Estate Assets
Posted on: May 8th, 2017
Executors must preserve estate assets until distribution. Overseeing estate assets could be a burden for executors, particularly if the decedent bequeathed out-of-state property or unique assets. ...
Dealing With Creditors in NC Probate
Posted on: May 5th, 2017
Personal representatives and executors follow a state-mandated timeline for creditor notifications. When it comes to managing debts, including through approval or rejection of creditor claims, the executor’s duties become more complicated....
Estate Issues With DIY Deeds
Posted on: May 4th, 2017
Oftentimes individuals and couples attempt to minimize estate planning costs by downloading do-it-yourself wills and property deed templates. DIY estate planning notoriously causes costly, time-demanding administrative burdens on executors and does not guarantee the decedent’s wishes will be carried out. ...
3 Reasons Why an Executor May Resign
Posted on: April 12th, 2017
Occasionally an executor must resign from their role. In North Carolina, the executor must file a formal petition with the clerk of court stating the reason(s) for resignation....
5 Considerations for Rental Property in Probate
Posted on: April 6th, 2017
Whether it’s a single property or multiple homes, rental property in probate poses a few concerns. Discussed below are five issues that must be addressed if a decedent owned rental property....
New Legal Library on Trusts, Estates, and Tax Law
Posted on: March 23rd, 2017
TrustCounsel's new Legal Library is now a permanent free online resource with guides to help direct executor’s discussions with attorneys, as well as to alert legal and financial practitioners of important probate and trust law matters....
Why North Carolina Trustees Should Acquire Liability Insurance
Posted on: January 25th, 2017
Without liability insurance, trustees remain personally accountable for trust administration mistakes. Certain insurance policies help to manage trustee liability. These errors and omissions insurance policies for trustees provide coverage in the event that claims, lawsuits, or damages occur as a result of the trustee’s actions or inaction....
Out-of-State Property in North Carolina Probate
Posted on: January 24th, 2017
The executor must inventory and evaluate all personal property, vehicles, and assets that pass through probate. However, if the decedent held property outside of North Carolina, those assets must follow the laws present in the alternate jurisdiction....
3 Errors North Carolina Executors Might Encounter Without Legal Counsel
Posted on: November 21st, 2016
When it comes to legal matters, it’s not in the executor’s best interest nor the best interest of the estate or its beneficiaries to rely on a DIY effort. The most important issue executors should understand is that executors are held personally responsible for probate errors and mistakes, regardless if the blunder was unintentional....
Penalties for Executors Due to Attorney Fault
Posted on: November 16th, 2016
A recent court ruling serves as a reminder of the personal financial liability executors may face even when they retain a probate attorney. Executors may be held legally responsible for errors in estate administration - even an attorney's errors....
Steps to Take After a Spouse’s Death in North Carolina
Posted on: November 14th, 2016
A surviving spouse is often required to provide immediate attention to matters related to probate (much of which might be unfamiliar to them) even as they process and adjust to their loss and grief. ...
NC Marriage Ruled Valid Despite Lack of Marriage License: How This Affects Estates
Posted on: September 30th, 2016
North Carolina courts denied a wife’s claim to her spousal share since no marriage license existed. However, the wife filed an appeal, and the appellate court judge ruled that the absence of a marriage license does not invalidate a marriage, thus allowing the wife to claim a spousal share....
Overview of North Carolina’s Digital Assets Act
Posted on: September 23rd, 2016
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill into law over the summer of 2016 that allows digital account holders to provide a fiduciary with authority to manage their digital assets. The Act modifies various provisions of North Carolina statutes to conform to the new law, including the North Carolina power of attorney form....
What Executors Should Know About Digital Assets in North Carolina Probate
Posted on: September 22nd, 2016
In late June 2016, the North Carolina governor signed Senate Bill 805, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, into law. The Act provides that trustees, executors, agents under powers of attorney, and other fiduciary parties in North Carolina may be granted authorities over electronic records and communications of another user. ...
Creditor Notification Requirements for Executors in NC
Posted on: August 9th, 2016
Creditor notification is a mandatory part of probate in every state, but the process varies in each jurisdiction. In North Carolina, executors must follow several statutes in regards to the timing, distribution and placement, and transmission of notices to creditors....
Problems With Digital Assets in NC Probate
Posted on: July 20th, 2016
Online accounts and digital assets are a growing concern in estate administration. Depending on the decedent’s personal or professional interests, they could have substantial assets left in a virtual limbo. In addition to financially valuable digital accounts (like frequent flyer miles, Google Wallet, and PayPal balances), the decedent might have maintained photo storage accounts with sentimental images of life events....
Probate of Real Estate in North Carolina
Posted on: June 24th, 2016
Real property poses unique set of considerations in the context of estate or trust administration. To understand more about how a personal representative oversees the management and distribution of real property during estate and/or trust administration, take a closer look at some variables that affect property distribution....
Terminating a Trust in North Carolina
Posted on: June 13th, 2016
Revocable and irrevocable trusts follow unique termination procedures. Although their name implies they cannot be changed, irrevocable trusts may be modified in certain circumstances. The circumstances surrounding a trust termination, and the type of trust, help to determine how a trustee may handle termination....
Types of Trust Beneficiaries
Posted on: June 10th, 2016
Primary, contingent and remainder trust beneficiaries have different rights as beneficiaries. Who has the right to bring a claim against the trustee of a revocable living trust?...
Does Your Executor Live Out-of-State?
Posted on: March 24th, 2016
Not all family members and trusted friends live nearby. North Carolina law does not require an executor be a resident of the state. However, there are certain restrictions the state imposes on out-of-state executors....
The Stress and Responsibilities Required of Executors
Posted on: March 23rd, 2016
Individuals who choose to accept the role of executor, or personal representative, of a loved one’s estate have more to manage than mere financial matters....
Discussing Inheritances With Children
Posted on: February 18th, 2016
Starting discussions during one’s lifetime about how personal items, collectibles, and assets will pass on can help to prevent conflicts after death. Surviving children might feel less inclined to contest a will if they understand that a parent’s wishes match the instructions in the will....
Refusing to Serve as Executor in North Carolina
Posted on: February 17th, 2016
Many people might feel proud to be selected to serve as executor of a loved one’s estate. However, sometimes the person appointed as executor has no interest in fulfilling their duties....
Protect an Elderly Relative’s Identity During Life and After
Posted on: September 28th, 2015
Identity theft is not only a concern during one’s lifetime; some fraudulent parties specifically target the identities of the elderly or deceased. Identity theft risks the security of one’s assets and can be costly to resolve....
‘Living Probate’ Now Possible in NC
Posted on: September 24th, 2015
Recent amendments to North Carolina’s Uniform Trust Code now provide for ‘living probate’ – a way for individuals to petition a court to declare a will valid while the testator is alive. This could help prevent will contests after the testator dies....
Assets Not Distributed According to One’s Will
Posted on: September 2nd, 2015
Keeping one’s last will and testament and other estate planning documents up-to-date is a critical part of maintaining one’s estate plan. However, merely creating and updating one’s estate planning documents is not enough, by itself, to adequately provide for distribution of every asset....
August is National Make-a-Will Month
Posted on: August 13th, 2015
An increasing number of Americans fail to plan appropriately for the future needs of themselves and their families, both through inadequate retirement savings as well as neglected estate planning. August is Make-a-Will Month...
What Happens if an Executor Doesn’t Do Their Job in North Carolina?
Posted on: July 8th, 2015
If the appointed executor accepts and then exploits their authority or fails to meet their responsibilities, another individual or business can file a petition with the court to have the executor removed. ...
Creditor Claims Against Decedents in North Carolina
Posted on: March 23rd, 2015
One of the many responsibilities executors have is ensuring that the decedent’s debts are satisfied. Creditor claims against estates in North Carolina generally fall into categories of priority. The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts provides the Order of Priority of Claims in Estate Procedures: Property liens up to the amount of the property...