North Carolina offers a valuable probate shortcut that can be used when there are no extraordinary circumstances at play. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]
This means a modest estate, a clear and uncontested will, and a family of beneficiaries that are all getting along. If the value of the estate minus the property is less than $20,000 or less than $30,000 when the inheritor is the spouse of the deceased, there’s a simple form you can use to bypass the majority of the probate process.
This form is very easy to fill out, and it’s called the Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property of Decedent. This paperwork is submitted to the court in the county where the decedent lived, and send copies off to people or institutions that own (or partially own) any assets of the estate – including its debts. Once everyone responds, the property is turned over to you. You only need to go to probate if anyone objects. After a 90 day waiting period, all you need to do is provide a document to the court that shows how the assets (including any properties you want to sell) were handled.
If legitimate probate is necessary, the process is easy to manage. North Carolina offers a sole probate process, rather than specialized varieties that address a whole host of circumstances. The court offers forms online that can be filled out and submitted. The executor of the estate is responsible for inventorying the assets, having them appraised, selling anything that needs to be sold, paying debts and taxes out of the estate, and distributing what’s leftover.
If the will specifically states that the property should be sold to settle debts, the executor doesn’t need court permission to do so. If it doesn’t, the court will need to agree. If you’re looking to take care of the debts left behind in an estate, choose a fast sale method to expedite the probate.
Once everything is settled and creditors are satisfied, the executor prepares closing paperwork, submits it to the court, and the court closes the probate. If you completed the probate process without selling the home but would like to sell it after the fact, you can do that as soon as the estate is officially considered to be fulfilled. [/read]