This process may seem overwhelming. It can be worse if these items are not well organized or you’re unsure what to look for. But you have options with an attorney. Obtaining the help of a legal representative does not mean a personal representative must give up their position. In these difficult times, it helps know your options and obligations for the fine details that may not be immediately apparent. If you’re not a resident of North Carolina, state law demands you appoint someone as your agent, such as an attorney, to receive documents on your behalf.

Seeking the help of an attorney not only saves you time and grief, it can provide you with options for avoiding unnecessary taxation and other possible liabilities.

If you are serving as personal representative for a decedent's estate, you and their estate may be well-served with the help of a North Carolina board-certified estate planning attorney.

how can we help?

Estate administration comes in two flavors – with a will (testate) and without a will (intestate).

Where a person administers a testate estate, that person is known as the executor or personal representative. The term “probate” actually involves an initial step in the administration: presenting the will to the clerk's office and qualifying as the personal representative.

In both testate and intestate situations, the general responsibilities are the same:

  • Gather the assets of the estate
  • Account to the estate's division for the assets.
  • Distribute the assets according to the will. If the decedent had no will, then the property is distributed according to the North Carolina Intestate Succession Act, which may or may not represent the intent of the decedent.
  • File the appropriate accounting the estate's division and the appropriate tax returns, both individual and fiduciary (for post-death income).

Types of assets to be gathered include bank accounts, vehicles, real estate, life insurance, stocks and bonds, income tax refunds, personal effects, and business interests.

putting your loved one's estate in good hands

The Neagle Law Firm offers an initial consultation at a reasonable fee to evaluate the options for a decedent's estate. Attorney Thomas J. Neagle is here to help with shortened forms of estate administration, if appropriate, and to assist the personal representative in fulfilling his or her duties. In this case, The Neagle Law Firm’s legal fees are based on an hourly fee depending on the complexity of the estate.

No person is obliged to serve as personal representative, and may choose to renounce his or her right to serve as personal representative in favor of another qualified person or entity, including the Neagle Law Firm.