Estate Administration & Probate
Handled by Our Probate Attorneys Serving Mooresville, Iredell, Mecklenburg & the Surrounding Counties.
Probate is the legal process by which a person's debts are repaid and assets are distributed upon her or his death. Lawyers refer to the entity that owns the deceased's assets until those assets are distributed as an "estate." Estate administration includes the probate process as well as non-probate transfers of the deceased's assets. In fact, there are various assets and exceptions that result in certain property not going through probate at all.
The Law Office of Natalie J. Miller offers comprehensive estate administration and probate services. We can provide advice to executors and administrators on all aspects of estate administration and the probate process. Many small estates do not need to go through a formal process; but, rather the legislature has developed a shorter procedure.
Step One of the Process
If a will has been left, then you are dealing with a testate estate. Often, wills are left in safe deposit boxes. At death, all safe deposit boxes are frozen. The court must be involved to unfreeze the safe deposit box. Then the will must then be submitted to the court for probate. You will apply for "letters testamentary." This requires that all assets of the estate be inventoried. Once the letters testamentary are issued, the clerk appoints the official personal representative.
If there is no will, then you are dealing with an intestate estate. The court must assign a personal representative. The personal representative must be over 18, mentally competent, literate, and suitable in the eyes of the clerk. Usually, the surviving spouse is the personal representative, but the spouse may ask that another person be appointed. The personal representative is often required to post a bond. Then, the personal representative will apply for "letters of administration." This requires that all assets of the estate be inventoried. Once the letters of administration are issued, the clerk appoints the official personal representative.
Step Two of the Process
It is the personal representative's job to settle the estate as quickly as possible. The personal representative is liable for negligence, acting in bad faith, and intentionally mishandling property.
Settling the estate includes notifying creditors, opening an estate checking and/or savings account, gathering assets, filing accounts with the court, distributing to heirs, and, finally, closing the estate.
Call our probate attorneys in Mooresville today at (704) 228-4520 to learn more about your situation and how we can assist you.
Consultation Fees Waived if Retained
Focused on Elder & Probate Law
Work Directly With an Attorney
Will Travel for Clients Who Are Unable
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