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Probate Attorney in Raleigh

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When a loved one passes away, many people understandably start wondering about inheritance. How does the process of distributing assets to loved ones begin? Is it as simple as reading the will and claiming what is yours? The answer lies in probate and its process.

The purpose of probate is to:

  • Validate the decedent's will.
  • Catalogue the decedent's property and estate.
  • Appraise significant pieces of the property.
  • Repay or eliminate owed debts.
  • Distribute property as applicable.

The truth is that it usually cannot be avoided and serves a strong, beneficial purpose for the decedent's surviving family members. If you believe that probate is in the near future for you, call (919) 876-3300 to connect with a Raleigh probate lawyer from Hopper Law Office today.

Executor Roles in Probate

Out of all of the matters probate and estate planning handle, naming the executor in a will is one of the most important. The executor is usually a close family member, lifelong friend, or trusted colleague, and is named by the decedent in the will. If no one is named, the court may appoint either the closest relative of the decedent or the person who is inheriting the most property as the executor.

What are the executor's roles?

  1. Ensuring all debts are paid correctly and in a timely manner
  2. Filing the final tax return on the decedent's behalf
  3. Distributing assigned property as the will intends or the court demands
  4. Overseeing the process in general

If you have been assigned as executor, you must understand that it is a critical role in probate. Allowing your responsibilities to slide may spell disaster for everyone else and could seriously delay the entire probate process. The wise choice is usually to team up with a probate attorney and allow them to guide you from start to finish, avoiding mistakes an unprepared executor may make.

Using an Affidavit for Collection

In North Carolina, a somewhat unique law is in place that can allow you to circumvent most of the probate process. If the estate of the decedent is valued at less than $20,000 – minus the value of real estate property – or $30,000 if the surviving spouse is inheriting everything, an affidavit for collection of personal property of decedent form may be used to request permission to directly collect all the property without probate. Without a proper investigation and preparation, the affidavit could easily be denied by the court, especially if there are other interested parties with a valid claim to some of the decedent's property.

Making a Complex Process as Simple as Can Be

Here at Hopper Law Office, our Raleigh probate attorneys believe that probate should be kept as painless and as quick as possible. On the other hand, you want to tread carefully to ensure you are not overlooking anything important. We bring you the best of both worlds: close eye for detail along with a sense of urgency, as if the will and estate in question was our own.

You can schedule a case evaluation to get started. You only need to contact us today.

Contact Hopper Law Office

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