Monroe Probate Attorney

Monroe Probate Attorney

Monroe, NC Probate Lawyer

Estate planning is essential for anyone wishing to secure an estate for their next of kin. When putting these estate plans into effect, certain documents can be subject to the probate process. Understanding what probate means and what parts of an estate plan will be subject to probate is necessary for creating any estate plan. Fortunately, the legal team at Pinnacle Law can help those in the Monroe area get through the probate process with ease.

What Is Probate?

Probate is a court-supervised legal procedure that enables someone, typically the surviving spouse or another close relative, to:

  • Collect a deceased person’s assets.
  • Settle any outstanding bills and taxes.
  • Transfer assets to their named beneficiaries.

In North Carolina, probate is not always necessary following a death, and it relies on the deceased’s assets and the value of their possessions. For example, smaller estates with assets valued at less than $20,000 that qualify for probate can bypass the full probate process. However, for a surviving spouse to receive the entire inheritance while bypassing probate, the estate’s worth cannot exceed $30,000.

Until the probate procedure is complete, beneficiaries are not entitled to receive any assets or personal property from an estate. A probate administration attorney would often advise starting the procedure within 60 days of death since, in North Carolina, probate is not immediately initiated once someone passes away. The personal representative is responsible for notifying the estate’s creditors that probate has been started after filing for it. This gives them a reasonable amount of time, usually 90 days, to submit claims against the estate.

How Can The Probate Process Be Avoided?

A deceased person’s property is transferred to the persons who will inherit it via probate litigation, which may take months to settle. Many individuals facing the probate process will seek alternatives to avoid putting their families through these proceedings. Different states will have various alternatives to probate. In North Carolina, these options include:

  • Establishing a Living Trust: Any asset, such as real estate, financial accounts, automobiles, and so on, can avoid probate by being placed in a living trust. These trusts start by drafting a will-like trust deed that appoints a successor trustee to manage the trust after the grantor’s passing. Known as the executor, this person will ensure that any property is given to the trust’s beneficiaries. Without going through the probate court system, the trust property can be transferred to the trust beneficiaries when the original trustee passes away.
  • Applying for Joint Ownership of Property: Any property that is jointly held with another person, and that ownership contains the “right of survivorship,” automatically passes to the surviving owner upon the death of the other owner. Although some documentation will be required to prove that the surviving owner is the only one with title to that asset, no probate will be required to transfer the property to them. There are two ways to establish joint ownership. One is joint tenancy, which allows the property to be automatically given to the other trustee. The other is tenancy by the entirety, which is a real estate-specific kind of joint tenancy reserved for married couples.
  • Creating Payable or Transferable-on-Death Assets: For some bank accounts, a payable-on-death designation can let a designated beneficiary claim the funds in these accounts upon the account owner’s passing. Similarly, stock and bond accounts can be transferred on death to a designated beneficiary, who will then take control of those holdings. In some states, real estate deeds or vehicle titles can be made transferable on death. However, in North Carolina, this is not the case. A will is necessary to name beneficiaries for these assets.

In Monroe, North Carolina, probate is usually required only when a deceased person owned property solely in their name. Assets held in revocable living trusts, jointly owned property, or those designated without the use of a will frequently do not require probate. Speaking with an experienced probate administration attorney about a specific estate is the best way to decide whether the assets held in an estate plan are subject to probate.

Monroe Estate Planning Lawyer FAQs

Q: How much does it cost to draw up a will in North Carolina?

A: A fixed fee is frequently collected by attorneys to create wills and other fundamental estate planning documents. A straightforward lawyer’s letter will often cost no more than $300. A price of around $1,000 is more typical, and a price of $1,200 is on the upper end of the price scale.

Q: What is the average cost of a will in North Carolina?

A: Depending on the length and specifics of a written will, as well as the firm drafting the document, prices can range from case to case. A good Monroe estate planning lawyer will take the time to craft a unique will for each client, ensuring that all of their assets, beneficiaries, and wishes are properly represented.

Q: How much does a probate lawyer cost in North Carolina?

A: It is challenging to estimate probate service costs precisely since North Carolina probate attorney rates will vary based on which practice handles the case. Most probate lawyers charge by the hour. Depending on how complicated the estate is, fees can frequently range from $2,000 to $10,000 or more for services.

Q: How much does a will cost to file in North Carolina probate court?

A: There are several fees involved in probate, including court charges and attorneys’ expenses. The court charges a filing fee for the estate, which is $120. The court also charges a probate fee, which is assessed against the estate’s property assets. This is calculated at 0.4% of their worth, with a minimum price of $15 and a maximum fee of $6,000.

Seeking Legal Help With Probate in Monroe, NC

The decision to entrust an estate to family members so that they can carry out the grantor’s final wishes is the biggest part of estate planning. When the time comes, these family members need to gain the legal expertise they need to make it through probate court effectively and efficiently. Fortunately, at Pinnacle Law, our team of estate planning and probate attorneys can help with the probate process, answering any questions along the way. For more information on our services, visit our website and contact us.

Estate Planning