The probate process may take several months to complete and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees. However, there are ways in which North Carolina residents may be able to prevent their assets from going though probate. The first way to do this is to create a living trust. A single individual can act as the grantor of the trust, the trustee and the beneficiary.
North Carolina residents may be able to learn a lot about long-term care needs from classic movie "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Like Charlie's grandparents in the film, the majority of those over the age of 65 will have long-term care needs. Of the 70 percent of people in that group who need care, not all will require permanent assistance. Instead, care may only be required for weeks or months at a time.
North Carolina residents may know that the singer known as Bobby Vee died in October 2016 because of Alzheimer's disease. He started his career in a February 1958 concert when he filled in for scheduled acts who were killed in a plane crash the morning of the show. Now, two of his children are suing their siblings for mishandling estate money for their benefit and for the benefit of Rockhouse Production.
Many North Carolina want to avoid having their estates go through the probate process, but they may not be sure how they can do so. For real estate and other types of property, including cars, people may avoid probate by jointly owning the assets. When a person dies and has a home that he or she shares ownership with another person, the property will pass directly to that other person without going through probate court if it is held as a joint tenancy with the right of survivorship or as a joint tenancy by the entirety.
When an estate goes through the probate process, it is an attempt to determine that a testator's will is valid. It may also attempt to locate any beneficiaries or other interested parties if the decedent died without a will. An executor is named by the court who will oversee the distribution of assets either in accordance with the will or with the state's intestacy law.
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.