North Carolina Estate Administration: 

Estate Administration

The legal process to transfer the property of a deceased person is known as Estate Administration or Probate.  It is a series of steps. You do not have to hire an attorney for the entire process.  We are here to help you with any forms and to provide guidance when you need it.

Are you an Executor or Administrator?

Need help completing a form?  Have a specific question?  Want help with your accounting?  We can guide you through the process.
  • Get the documents you need
  • Qualification as Personal Representative
  • 90 Day Inventory – Taking Control of Assets
  • Paying Creditors and Distributions to heirs
  • Final accounting
North Carolina legal documents shown on a desk

Are you an Heir or a Creditor?

We are glad to explain the estate process to you and discuss any steps you may want to take.
  • When can you expect to receive your share?
  • Do you need to take court action?
  • Receive suggestions for how to proceed

Estate Administration Packages

Our packages are designed to follow the steps in the administration process.  We are glad to create a package that covers only what you need.

Qualification as a Personal Representative

All the forms you need to get qualified as Executor or Administrator, including the initial notices you send after qualification.  Forms include Application for Letters, initial listing of property, Oath, Certificate of Probate, Letters (to be issued by Clerk), Notice to Heirs, Notice to Creditors (newspaper publication with cover letter) and cover letter to financial institutions. Also included will be a checklist for your meeting with the Clerk or a cover letter if you plan to mail in your documents.  

Package includes documents prepared based on information you provide and advice regarding the initial property listing and preparing for your meeting with the Clerk.

90 Day Inventory – Taking Control of Assets

We will work with you to determine what property has to be included in the estate and how to value it for the Inventory.   We will help you complete the Inventory and organize documents needed by the Clerk of Court.  We will also help you to set up a spreadsheet that will aid in the completion of the annual and final accountings. 

Package includes preparation of the 90 day Inventory form and a checklist or cover letter listing the items the Clerk will need.  Also includes advice on how to find a value for the items and how to take control or possession of the assets.

Paying Creditors and Distributions to Heirs

We will help you determine what creditors you need to pay and when to pay them.  We will advise you how to transfer property to the appropriate heir. If assets need to be sold to pay creditors, we can assist in selection and obtaining permission to sell, if necessary. We can prepare a Family Settlement Agreement or Receipts to be signed by Heirs.  Once we know how we can help you, we are glad to give you a fixed fee quote.

Final Accounting

Any Annual or Final accounting must balance and be approved by the Clerk.  You will need to present proof of all receipts into the Estate and proof of all payments from the Estate.  The Final Accounting will also include proof of all distributions made to the heirs.  We can assist you in preparing the Annual or Final Accounting using the required NC forms plus acceptable spreadsheets. We will provide a checklist or cover letter to transfer your final documents to the Clerk of Court. If your accounting balances and all you need is to complete the final paperwork and prepare the documents for the Clerk, then our fee is $375.00.  If you need assistance in preparing spreadsheets or to audit your accounting to make it balance, we are glad to provide you with a quote.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should an Estate Administration or Probate take?
The minimum time would be about four months.  Unless there are complicated issues that take more time, most administrations can be completed in less than a year.
Do I need an attorney?
Not necessarily. The Clerk of Court cannot give you legal advice. Most of the process can be completed without an attorney.  If you are stumped on the accounting, need help with any rules or unsure how to transfer certain assets, let us help you. Only pay for the advice that you need, when you need it.
What Counties do you serve?
We can work with you in any county in the State of North Carolina.
Do you help out of state Executors or Heirs?
Yes, we can assist with Ancillary Administration and with recording documents necessary to transfer title to real estate.
Notice and Disclaimer
• No lawyer-client relationship is established until the services are agreed upon and the fee is paid.
• All documents and legal advice are based solely on the information provided by the client.  
• The lawyer-client relationship is limited to the preparation of the document or the legal advice purchased.
• Irvine Law Firm does not provide tax or financial advice.  All documents and legal services are based on North Carolina law.
• The relationship ends upon transmittal of the final version of the document or the purchased legal advice.
Celtic symbol logo with a gradient of orange purple blues and greens