When a loved one passes away, those left behind are often responsible for dealing with the estate of the deceased. Estate executors and representatives are required to gather the assets of the deceased individual, notify creditors of the estate and distribute the assets of the estate according to the law and the deceased individual’s wishes. This process often requires extensive time and effort to identify and locate heirs and assets. Furthermore, this process requires broad experience not only in probate and trust law, but also real estate, business, financial planning, insurance and retirement benefits.
When a loved one who has an established trust passes away, the terms of the trust must be examined under general North Carolina law and a variety of tax laws to determine the legal consequences. Oftentimes, the surviving party is now required to perform various acts and take on certain responsibilities under the terms of the trust agreement. It is important that the trustee be advised with respect to the legal responsibilities of: preparing an inventory of all property owned by the decedent at death, giving notice to beneficiaries of their right to receive a copy of the terms of the trust, managing trust assets, protecting and investing the property, maintaining the appropriate property and liability insurance and paying various debts and trust expenses.
OUR ROLE IN YOUR FAMILY’S PROBATE LEGAL PROCESS MAY INCLUDE:
- Determining Whether or Not a Probate Proceeding is Necessary, and if so, Drafting Court Filings
- Making an Inventory of Assets
- Notifying Creditors
- Distributing Assets to Beneficiaries
- Overseeing Filing of Estate and Gift Tax Returns and Payment of Taxes
- Challenging and Defending a Will or Trust (Including Breach of Fiduciary Responsibilities)
Our compassionate, knowledgeable and thorough handling of this process will allow you to focus your time and energy on your family during the difficult time after the death of a loved one.