We buy houses in Sanford, North Carolina. As professional homebuyers in NC, we discuss the probate process in NC when real estate is involved in our latest blog post.
As you’re researching your real estate probate options in North Carolina, you may hear about something called “the probate process.”
In North Carolina, the probate process can be confusing. You may be thinking: What is probate? How does probate function? How do I sell real estate property associated with probate?
Probate, by definition, is the court-supervised process that gives someone (called an executor or administrator) the authority to process an Estate. Whether a person dies with or without a will, probate is the only way to get assets out of their name and to sell those assets. In North Carolina, the probate process is managed by the Clerk of Superior Court, located at your local courthouse in Wake, Durham, Orange, or Johnston County.
The probate process is required when a person dies, whether the person has real estate assets or not. If properly planned, an attorney can help with the process before someone passes and ensure a smooth transition when selling your house. If you are researching what to do after someone dies and they didn’t have a will, we would suggest to contact our friends at Forrest Law Firm or your local Estates division of Wake, Durham, Orange, or Johnston County. Most counties require appointments, so call ahead and schedule for a day that works best for you. Plan on a few hours for the initial meeting. Bring a notebook for writing notes and come prepared with the list of needed items. Below, you will see how this process works and how you can sell a house in probate quickly. Acting quickly is helpful so bills don’t mount up and put the estate in a bad financial situation. We can help when selling a house in probate, no matter the condition, by filling out the easy short form below.
How Does Probate Work in NC?
The first step to preparing for the probate process is understanding exactly how probate works and whether probate is required for your situation. Whether you apply for probate with no will or with a will also determines a great deal of your probate process in North Carolina.
The probate process begins at the Clerk of Superior Court in the deceased’s county of residence. An application is submitted to the clerk by either the executor/executrix named in a will or, if there is no will or the person named in the will is not able or willing to serve, a person qualified to be an administrator. The application must be submitted along with the will (if there is one), a preliminary inventory of the estate, and a certified copy of the deceased’s death certificate.
The fee to open an estate is currently $120.
Executors and administrators are both known as the “personal representative” of the Estate. Once the personal representative is appointed, they must take an oath of office, promising to faithfully carry out their duties. If the court appoints you as executor/executrix, you will receive “letters testamentary”. If you are appointed as administrator, the court will issue “letters of administration”. Both of these documents give you the authority to handle the assets of the estate.
Duties of a personal representative include, but are not limited to:
- Inventory the deceased’s assets
- Pay valid debts/claims against the estate
- Publish, deliver, and/or mail notices to all known creditors
- File state and federal taxes for the deceased, if necessary
- Set up bank account to pay all debts, costs, bills, liens, funeral expenses, taxes, and any other expenses incurred on behalf of the estate
- File required documents with the Clerk of Superior Court in a timely manner
- Sell assets if there is not enough money in the estate to cover debts or expenses
- Distribute assets according to the deceased’s will, or if there is no will, give out the remaining property according to state law
- Prepare a final accounting showing all transactions on behalf of the estate and close the estate
In North Carolina, when there is a small estate, you are in luck; NC has a simplified process that allows you to bypass the formal probate process. This process applies to estates with personal property valued at $20,000 or $30,000 if the surviving spouse inherits everything under state law. North Carolina also has a simplified probate process called summary administration, which applies if the surviving spouse is the sole heir. If you are in this category, your local estates division should be able to help you move through the process quickly, and you most likely do not have real estate inside the Estate to sell.
Keep in mind: Because the executor of a probate case is so critical to ensuring that all beneficiaries receive the proper assets, choosing this representative is an important decision to make. It should only be done after a potential executor has agreed to these responsibilities. When deciding to sell the home in probate, it is important to work with a local trusted company that has served its community faithfully for years. The probate process can be long, and you want to make sure the people serving you will be around to purchase the house.
Probate in North Carolina can be time-consuming and overwhelming, especially while grieving the loss of a loved one. Being the personal representative of an estate is a significant responsibility, one that should not be taken lightly. This person needs to have the ability to get to and from the counties courthouse many times. They need to have the time to devote to processing the probate and the ability to learn many new concepts involved with probate.
If you’re asking, “Do I have to do probate in North Carolina when a loved one passes?” the best thing to do is to speak with an Estate Division of your local Clerk of Court, or call us to discuss your specific situation. We have many resources to help.
Keep in mind that the clerk of court cannot give legal advice, so if your documents needed for probate are done incorrectly, the clerk cannot tell you how to correct your forms. However, using an attorney to help you with probate will make the process much less stressful and will ensure that any legal requirements are met. They do cost money but often can be a great resource.
Sell My House in Sanford NC
Remember: You have significant responsibility and a long road ahead. Make sure to work with companies that have been working in this industry for many years. Be sure they are well known and have a great track record of taking care of their clients. Read their reviews on Google and check out our reviews here.
Selling a house in probate to The Inspiring Investment:
- Alleviates the stress that comes with going through it alone
- Shortens the process to a much more tolerable timeline so the heirs can get cash in their pockets
- Saves you from having to travel to another state or city to manage the home sale
Here’s all it takes:
- Contact us so we can review the probated house and promptly schedule a time to see the house.
- Arrange a quick, 15-minute walk-through of the property.
- Obtain a petition to sell real estate from the court.
- Complete and file the petition and await approval from the probate court.
- Accept your straight offer from The Inspiring Investment and consider your probate property sold!
The probate process can create a great deal of stress and anxiety at an already troubling time for you. It can also generate a lot of bills. Our team of Sanford home buyers in The Inspiring Investment doesn’t only offer cash for houses in Sanford NC; it also empowers you to simplify a probate house sale and get on with your life. Contact us below for immediate peace of mind about your probate house sale! If you want the easiest, most transparent way to sell your house in NC in probate, reach out to us today and we will guide you through the process.