Filing Fees for NC Estates Increase


Effective July 1, 2011, the fee to open an estate proceeding in North Carolina is now $120.  This includes Trusts under Wills and Affidavits for Collection of Personal Property.  Special Proceedings are also now $120.  Click here for the Estates Court Costs Chart. There is also a new “Motion” fee that applies when motion is filed and a hearing on the motion is required.  It appears that Petitions for Approval of Commissions and Attorneys Fees, which generally do not require a hearing, would not carry a $20 fee.

Motion Fees in Estate Proceedings. G.S. 7A-307(a)(4):
In addition to exemption for motions under G.S. 7A-308, listed above, the motion fee may be assessed in estates proceedings only when the motion requires a notice of hearing. S.L. 2011-145, § 31.23.(d), as amended by House Bill 22, § 62.
Any motion filed in an estate matter for which the relief requested requires a hearing will require a notice of hearing, so the motion fee must be assessed at the time of filing whenever the relief requested would require a hearing. The requirement of a notice of hearing should not be interpreted to mean that only motions that result in an actual hearing require the $20.00 fee. The fee should be assessed whenever the relief requested would require a hearing, even if no hearing is actually held. Only motions that do not require a hearing (e.g., summary revocation of letters of a personal representative under G.S. 28A-9-2(a)) are exempt from the motion fee under the “notice of hearing” requirement.
More reasons to avoid probate by use of living trusts!
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