Submitting a Will to probate is often a necessary step to ensure that heirs receive the property they deserve. But how does this process start? And what can people expect once a probate court opens an estate?
The court will not initiate probate on its own. Opening an estate in Wake Forest probate requires a person to submit a Will to the court along with proof that the testator is deceased. When a court receives this notice, it will appoint an executor to administer the estate. A knowledgeable lawyer can provide more information on this process and help you navigate the probate system.
For probate to begin, the court must receive two things. The first is a copy of the Will. Anyone who possesses a copy of a Will with valid signatures may file it with the court at any time. In many cases, this occurs after the testator’s death.
The second item that the court must receive is proof of the testator’s death. Ideally, this will be a certified copy of a death certificate. When requesting that the court open an estate, it may also be helpful to bring a list of the decedent’s property.
Along with these two required documents, you must pay a filing fee of $120 to initiate the probate process. Before opening an estate in probate, speak with a nearby attorney to ensure that you have all the necessary documents and information.
Once the court verifies that a Will is genuine, it will appoint an executor who has exclusive powers to administer the estate. The executor’s duties generally include the payment of debts and the distribution of property. A testator may nominate an executor in their Will, or a court may make an appointment. Once they accept their appointment, the executor has a duty to both the court and estate to perform their job correctly.
To grant an executor these powers, the court will issue documentation called “letters testamentary.” Under North Carolina General Statutes § 28A-4-1, these letters give the executor legal power to perform various actions on behalf of the estate, such as:
A skilled lawyer can help executors in Wake Forest understand their role under the law and properly fulfill their estate duties.
Probate follows strict procedures, and you must fulfill several requirements to begin the process. A diligent attorney can help you file a Will, death certificate, and other relevant information when opening an estate in Wake Forest probate. Furthermore, if you have been nominated as an executor, a lawyer can assist you in carrying out your duties.
Probate can be a complicated process for those without an extensive legal background. If you are beginning these proceedings, contact our firm to speak with a knowledgeable member of our team. A legal advisor can guide you through every step of the probate process and answer any questions you may have.