They other day a client came in and said that he had heard that probate in North Carolina was a "breeze." Wrong! While probate here is less expensive than in some states, I still counsel my clients to avoid it in most cases. Here are 10 Reasons to Avoid Probate in North Carolina:
- Court fees can exceed $6,000.
- Accountings must be filed reporting every penny coming into and going out of the estate.
- Documentation of bank accounts and expenditures is required.
- A formal inventory of assets is required.
- Attorneys fees generally far exceed fees in similar non-probate estates.
- All filings are in the public record.
- Notices to creditors must be published in the local newspaper.
- Delay due to court rules and busy Clerks' offices.
- Bond may be required if not waived in the Will.
- Stress induced by court deadlines and requirements.
My office handles dozens of probate matters every year, so we have first hand experience with all types of estates. I recommend avoiding probate to save time, money and aggravation. Generally, a Living Trust is the best way to avoid probate, but there are other methods as well. An experienced estate planning attorney to help you make the right decision about handling you estate.