Orsbon & Fenninger, LLP

Estate Planning and Estate Administration

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Why executors may need legal assistance

A person who is appointed as an executor under a North Carolina testator's will might make the mistake of trying to do it without getting help. Probating a will must be completed according to the probate court's rules and procedures and must also follow the state's laws.

There are certain legal documents that must be filed with the court by specified deadlines. The executor will either need to figure out how to draft the required documents and track the filing deadlines or get help with doing so.

Executors must also make certain that they complete all of the required notifications. Any potential heir must be notified about the will, even if the person is not named in the will or is specifically disinherited in it. Potential heirs are all of those people who would stand to inherit if the will did not exist. The decedent's creditors must also be identified and notified. This is to allow them time to make claims against the estate for the debts that are owed to them. If they are not properly notified, the executor may be found to be liable for the amount of the debts.

The probate process can be complicated, and some people may benefit by seeking help with completing it correctly. An attorney who has experience with these matters can help an executor with completing all of the tasks that must be completed in order to close the estate. The attorney can also help with notifying the heirs and creditors as well as with filing all of the required documents with the court. The fees for such assistance are properly borne by the estate.

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