I recently had someone email me and ask if the North Carolina Estate Procedure Pamphlet, published by the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, is accurate. It is generally correct, and provides a good, basic overview of estate administration requirements and procedures in North Carolina. However, it is out-dated, having been published in 2002. In addition, it does not go into depth about how to fully accomplish the many requirements of probate and deal with unusual issues, not to mention the estate and income tax aspects of probate. Furthermore, the Clerks of Court in each of our 100 counties may have different rules and intrepretations of the law. This pamphlet alone certainly does not provide enough guidance for a lay person to properly handle a probate proceeding. Given that executors and administrators can be held personally liable for mishandling an estate, even if not intentional, having an estate attorney on board is always a good idea. It may even save money in the long run, and will certainly save a lot of time and aggravation for the executor.
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