Estate administration, also known as probate, can be a complicated, onerous process. Carolina Estate Planning offers fiduciary services to help guide individuals and families through the probate process. Hiring an attorney to serve as an executor or trustee can reduce legal risks and family strife.
Being personally named as the executor or trustee in an estate plan comes with legal responsibilities. Unfamiliarity with the law and probate process can result in personal liability for the named executor or trustee for any mistakes made. This can also result in costly delays in the estate administration process.
In addition to the legal consequences an executor or trustee might face, there is also the potential for family turmoil. Other beneficiaries may harbor resentment at not having been chosen as the executor, or there may be accusations of undue delay levied against the executor or trustee. This family unrest comes at a time when the family needs to be focused on the grieving process and the self-care that is required when we suffer the loss of a loved one.
Hiring an attorney to handle the probate process or administer a trust will ensure all of the legal requirements are fulfilled and expensive mistakes are avoided. In addition, an attorney is an impartial arbitrator when hired to administer an estate. Having a disinterested professional administer the estate relieves family tension and potential sources of conflict.
When you schedule an initial consultation regarding your probate case, we begin with a review of the decedent’s assets and determine what type of estate administration is appropriate. Sometimes, a formal estate administration can be avoided, saving the beneficiaries of the estate significant time and money. Once we complete a full review of the case, we will quote you a flat fee for the probate service.
A typical probate service will include:
1. An initial attorney consult, to determine what type of estate administration is best
2. Creation of an inventory of the decedent’s probate assets
3. Preparation and filing of all court documents
4. Publishing the required creditor notice
5. Handling creditor’s claims
6. Obtaining a taxpayer identification number (TIN) for the estate or trust
7. Notifying the IRS and North Carolina Department of Revenue of the decedent’s passing
8. Advice on tax issues
9. Advice on the handling of out of state assets
10. Preparation and filing of tax returns for the decedent, estate and/or trust