Like other states, North Carolina has a legal process in place that governs how a person’s property gest transferred to relatives and other loved ones after that person dies. While the term probate traditionally assumed a person died with a will, in North Carolina, it also refers to situations in which a person dies without a will but with property that needs to be legally transferred to heirs as part of a formal process.
In many respects, the probate process in North Carolina is similar to that of other states. For instance, one step in the process is the filing of a person’s will with the court. Those interested in the estate will then have notice and an opportunity to object to the will or, as an alternative, to offer a more current validly created will.
With or without a will, the court will on request appoint an appropriate person to serve as the personal representative of the estate. In cases where there is no will, a personal representative may more appropriately be called an executor.
This person will have the authority and responsibility to marshal all of the deceased’s person’s assets, review and pay off valid claims against the estate as well as expenses, and then divide the leftover property either according to the terms of the will or, if there is no will, then per North Carolina’s laws which specify who gets what property. These laws are commonly referred to as laws of intestate succession.
While there are some alternatives for smaller estates that are designed to make the process quick and easy, even uncontested probate proceedings can be complicated and require attention to detail. For this reason, it is advisable for a personal representative in the Rocky Mount area to get the help of an experienced local attorney with knowledge of both North Carolina law and the nuances of the local court system.