The probate process can be daunting and trying. We don’t know anybody who truly wants to deal with it. However, probate is something most people will have to deal with it at one point or another. Learn more about what to expect during the probate process in this post!
If you are forced to deal with the probate process, you might find yourself spending money and getting more involved with everything than you planned. While you might expect to receive money, the opposite can, in fact, be true. In some cases, the probate process can be expensive and time-consuming. In this post, we will discuss 4 costs to expect during the probate process in Union County, Charlotte, and surrounding areas so that you will be able to best prepare yourself!
When someone passes away, the executor of their estate will need to find and pay all of the deceased’s outstanding debts. In North Carolina, the executor of the estate is required to publish a notice of death in the local newspaper, alerting any creditors not known to the courts or to the executor. The creditors have 90 days after the initial publication or mailing of a creditor notice to make a claim against the estate. It is only after all debts have been paid that the executor of the estate is free to distribute assets left behind by the departed.
If an inheritance has to go through the probate courts, there are going to be some costs. The executor has to validate the will, submit a petition, and ask the courts to review all assets, debts, and taxes owed. There will often be a number of hearings to discuss the validity of the will, do hear any objections, and to make sure assets are distributed as they should be. As such, the court will charge a number of fees while facilitating this process. Fortunately, North Carolina fees are relatively reasonable. The fee for estates of more than$10,000 is $ 40.00 plus $4.00 per each $1,000 of personal property (i.e. not real estate) held by the estate. But the maximum fee is $6,000. That means that the estate must be at least $1.5 million in personal property.
Even after death, you can’t avoid the Uncle Sam. The executor of the estate must file and pay all income taxes for the year of the decedent’s death. They must also check to see if any estate taxes need to be paid. If so, these taxes are typically due within nine months of the deceased’s passing. The property taxes for any real estate owned will need to be kept up to date in order to avoid foreclosure of the property.
The cost of a probate attorney can run up to 5% of an estate’s value. While you may not always need an attorney to represent you, in many cases, it makes the process go much more smoothly. When you hire an attorney, you can be assured that all debts, creditors, and beneficiaries will be properly taken care of.
In order to avoid probate, an individual can either set up a trust, own property in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship or set up beneficiaries when creating the assets. This is particularly true with stocks and bank accounts. By avoiding probate in Union County, Charlotte and surrounding areas, you will be able to avoid a number of the costs people often face.
In North Carolina, typically, real estate is not tied up in the probate. Unlike some other states, in North Carolina real estate passes immediately to the heirs upon a person’s death. This means that if you want to sell the real estate right away, you can do so, as long as the rightful heirs and the Administrator or Executor of the estate sign the Deed. Thus we don’t have such a thing as land being “tied up in probate”. In addition to the costs above, if a property is in question, the executor of the estate will need to pay the taxes, insurance, and mortgage on the property to keep it from going into foreclosure. It can be in the best interest of the heirs to sell the real estate right away in order to avoid those expenses and deplete the estate.
Contact us to learn more about what to expect during the probate process in Union County, Charlotte, and surrounding areas!
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Please note that we are not attorneys and that this information is relayed to you in good faith, but can in no circumstances be considered as legal advice. We would recommend that you always consult your attorney.