Estate AdministrationLet Us Guide You Through the Process
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The loss of a loved one is never easy. We are here to help answer your questions, and guide you through the process of handling the assets and debts of loved ones and family members after they have passed away. The following are some commonly asked questions regarding estate administration.
What is an Estate?
An Estate is all the real and personal property that a person owns at the time of their death. Keep in mind, that the debts of the person who passed away are also considered part of their estate.
What is an Executor or Personal Representative?
When one dies with a Will, the Will goes through probate, which is an approval process of the court system. Usually you have named an executor in your will, and the Court may or may not appoint that person as the executor.
If a loved one dies without a Will, their estate is distributed according to North Carolina law (North Carolina’s Intestate Succession Act). Instead of an executor, the Court will appoint a Personal Representative.
What does an Executor or Personal Representative do?
If a loved one asks you to be the executor, or you are appointed the personal representative of their estate, you may have no idea how to respond. Keep in mind, this is an important decision to make, and should not be made lightly. Before you agree, you should have a good understanding of what your duties would be. Although no two estates are alike, some general duties include:
Common Executor Duties
- Making a list of the beneficiaries
- Managing the financial side of the estate, which includes paying all debts of the person who passed away
- Filing tax returns (if necessary)
- Keeping records and providing the court an accounting at the end of the process
- Distributing the assets to the beneficiaries of the estate
What if I have to “post bond”?
Sometimes people write in their will that their Executor will have to “post bond”. The purpose of the bond is to protect the deceased estate from any type of irresponsible or illegal activity the executor may do with the estate’s property.
If you are the named Executor in a will, and you are not a resident of North Carolina, you may be able to avoid have to post a bond by appointing a resident agent. Learn more about how we easily assist you as a resident agent by calling our office at 910-253-5400.
How much does a bond cost?
Usually bond costs are based on the value of the estate that the Executor or Personal Representative are overseeing.
At Dugan & Leger, we can assist you as an executor or personal representative by guiding you through every step of the way. We understand the difficulties in navigating the probate courts, and are here to help you through your times of need. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your options regarding the estate administration process.
Below is a downloadable questionnaire that can assist us in getting to know you better, and more efficiently take the first step in assisting you in your time of need:
Nick Fernez leads our Estate Administration practice. Please click here to see his biography.