When a loved one passes away, the legal process can seem overwhelming and unfamiliar. Whether it’s administering a will or a trust, we will help you navigate the process and answer your questions. We are here to help you during this difficult time and make the process as smooth as possible. Our professional and compassionate staff works with clients to navigate the probate process in a simple and methodical manner.
Robbins & Bentz is centrally located in Cornelius, North Carolina and we serve clients throughout the Lake Norman area. We welcome loved ones and executors or administrators named in a Last Will and Testament to contact us for assistance. If your family member died or had property in North Carolina and you live elsewhere, we will work to limit your need to travel here as much as possible.
When you call our office after a loved one passes, we will schedule an appointment for you to meet with an attorney and probate paralegal. During that meeting we will gather basic information about the decedent and his or her family. We will review the will and trust, if applicable, and all of the assets owned by the decedent at the time of death. Once we have this information, we can offer an overview of the next steps in the administration process.
Unless the decedent had a living trust and all assets were retitled to the trust (we go over what this means when we talk with you), in most cases you will need to go through the county probate clerk to gain access to the deceased person’s assets and administer their estate.
The probate process begins by filing various legal documents that give the court the information it needs to determine the validity of the deceased person’s last will (if any) and to appoint an executor of the estate. Upon application for appointment of an executor, it is necessary to provide an initial inventory of the estate assets.
The next steps in the process include giving notice to creditors, publishing legal notice in the local newspaper, preparing a 90 day inventory of assets, and preparing an accounting of the estate assets.
Once all expenses and debts are paid, the remaining assets are distributed according to the deceased person’s will, or according to North Carolina statute if he or she did not leave a will.
Contact Robbins & Bentz to speak with us about your probate needs. Our attorneys have over 40 combined years of experience and have served hundreds of North Carolina families.