Having an estate plan is the only way for individuals to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes after their death. Unfortunately, some individuals never create an estate plan, which can lead to families going through the probate law process.
Here are a few of the ways probate law can affect families of deceased loved ones:
- No Last Will & Testament – If a relative did not create a last will and testament, or if they have an unverified will, probate law requires that the court system determine the best process for settling the estate. Handwritten wills that have not been verified may go through a verification process before they can be used to distribute assets. Individuals without any estate planning documents may have all of their assets distributed according to probate law as the courts see fit.
- No Executor – Probate law in North Carolina requires that an executor inventory a decedent’s estate, or the court system will do so on behalf of the individual who is deceased. This process is typically handled through the clerk of superior court’s office.
- No Remaining Relatives – If an individual has no living relatives to aid in the closing of their estate, probate law will allow the courts to handle any estate details necessary. This may include paying outstanding debts and collecting revenue left from the sale of the estate after all other distributions are accounted for.
Going through the probate law process can be murky for many families. Working with a probate lawyer is the best way to gain insights into the process and learn what to expect for your family member’s estate after their death.
Do you need help with estate planning or have questions about probate law? Reach out to us at TriCity Lawyers today.