Serving as an executor in North Carolina comes with clear guidelines about responsibilities. This can be a lengthy and involved process and is guided by the law, so it’s important that executors are aware of their responsibilities. What follows are some general guidelines about what is required or expected of North Carolina executors as a reference.
1. Familiarize yourself with the estate process. Then complete the documentation or forms that are required to serve as the personal representative/executor.
2. Conduct background research about the decedent’s assets and where they might have filed any additional critical information.
3. Create and attend an appointment with the probate clerk (if necessary for your particular case).
4. Verify whether any safe deposit boxes were in use, and obtain that information to get additional documents or other relevant information about the estate. Use this to begin your compilation of the estate property.
5. Contact any experts you will need to assist you in the process of administering the estate. At the very least, communicate with an attorney and possibly even an accountant. These experts will be well versed in helping you prepare for the responsibility of administering an estate. You will also be required to obtain the tax identification number in order to open an estate bank account.
6. Handle various paperwork, including opening the estate bank account, paying a year’s allowance, determining whether government benefits need to be activated or canceled, research and file the previous year’s tax information for the decedent and all potential legal obligations must be obtained.
7. The executor is also responsible for maintaining clear records about the course of the estate administration.
As one can see, the process of serving as an estate administrator is very involved. It can be a very difficult task, especially if you are administering the estate of a loved one. As always, it is in your best interest to speak with a licensed professional attorney for representation and guidance. Meek Law Firm can be a valuable resource to help you administer the estate correctly the first time and help you avoid pitfalls if you choose to do it yourself. If the burden is too great, we also offer services where you put us in the driver’s seat and you simply provide the necessary signatures.
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