Lawyer in Raleigh NC: Choosing the Right Executor for Your Estate is Important
Our lawyer in Raleigh NC have learned that most people are aware that they should have a will in place. However, few individuals understand just how important it is to execute a will through proper estate planning. In addition, individuals don’t realize how critical it is to select the right executor to help them manage the estate and distribute assets to beneficiaries. Choosing the “right” executor is actually one last gift to your loved ones. The executor can help make sure that family and loved ones will receive their inheritance in a timely manner, with less delays, tax issues, or will contest.
To better understand the importance of choosing a capable executor that will benefit your estate plan, it’s best to first understand what happens to your estate, step by step, after your death.
Lawyer in Raleigh NC | Step 1: Your Estate Is Opened
Opening an estate consists of having the executor filing paperwork with the county in which they live and where they'll be representing the actual estate. Then, the executor will begin getting in touch with anyone that may be of interest to the deceased, including creditors, that might claim against the estate.
Shortly after one’s death, it is important for someone to open an estate. In North Carolina, if there is a will, the executor may take the will to the county Clerk of Court. If the will is legally valid, the Clerk will “probate” the will. In other words, the Clerk accepts the will. If the will was properly created, it designates an executor to whom the Clerk issues “Letters Testamentary”. The Letters Testamentary is the document that tells others that an executor acts on behalf of the estate.
Once the executor receives Letters Testamentary, the executor must provide notice to creditors. The executor does this by contacting known creditors as well as publishing notice in an appropriate newspaper. This notice requires creditors to inform the executor of debts within a certain time period. An executor’s failure to properly provide notice can be harmful to the estate, the executor, and the beneficiaries. Because of this potential for harm, an executor should be both responsible and intelligent. It is wise for an executor to consult with an estate attorney for issues like this.
To take a further look at the process conducted by a court to determine the validity of a will, also known as probate, take a look back at a previous post.
For additional an explanation of steps to help you understand the importance of choosing a capable and trustworthy executor for your estate, visit back with our lawyer in Raleigh NC, on our next post.