New Hanover County, North Carolina has a legal process known as "probate." This is when a court decides whether or not a will is binding, and, accordingly, whether or not to effectuate its provisions.
In the probate process, a New Hanover County, North Carolina probate court has many duties, including ruling on a will's validity, making an inventory of the estate's assets, and making note of all the decedent's debts. Once the will is determined to be valid, the court will distribute the property according to its terms.
Normally, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in New Hanover County, North Carolina will appoint an administrator to serve the role as the executor. This is normally the closest adult relative of the decedent, or the person who stands to inherit the most.
Because the executor is responsible for really initiating probate proceedings and seeing them to completion, the person chosen for this role is often the one who stands to inherit the most from the will - giving them an incentive to put in the necessary time and effort.
Duties of the Executor in New Hanover County, North Carolina
Executors of estates have a many distinct responsibilities. First, the executor must start the probate proceedings. Probate almost always needs to be finished before the property in an estate can be released according to the terms of the will.
Additionally, the executor has to make sure that the decedent's relatives and other people named in the will have notice of the testator's death, normally through the filing of a copy of the official death certificate.
If the decedent was even somewhat well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have considerable amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with formulating an accurate accounting of the debts and assets of the estate, so as much of the decedent's debts can be paid off as possible.
Additionally, the executor is required to take the lead in showing the validity of the will, effectively acting as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate. The executor is normally the person who will inherit the most once the will goes through probate, so they have a good reason to put in the work to do this.
How Can A New Hanover County, North Carolina Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a brilliant New Hanover County, North Carolina probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.