Probate is the legal process to manage your estate under the supervision of the court, whether you are disabled or at your death. The purpose of living probate is to ensure that a disabled person’s just debts and legal obligations are paid while preserving and protecting such individual’s assets. The purpose of death probate is to ensure that the legal and just debts of the decedent are paid, and that title to all of the decedent’s assets are transferred properly after death.
The laws that govern probate administration are applied under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Clerk of Superior Court. Each and ever aspect of the probate process ultimately is accounted for and approved in the presence of the Clerk. In a death probate, the nature of the property to be dealt with can have a significant effect on how and where it is handled. For instance, unlike the personal property of a decedent, which is administered in the State and county of the decedent’s residence, real property of the decedent is administered in the State and county of its location. Therefore, a decedent who dies owning real property in multiple States, will be required to have multiple death probate administrations.
The first step, from a procedural perspective, in handling a probate administration is to meet the Clerk of Superior Court and provide them with the necessary documentation. Upon the filing and acceptance of the proper documentation, the applicant is sworn in as the personal representative of the disabled person, or the decedent, and, thereafter, authorized to administer the probate estate.
After the appointment of the personal representative by the Clerk, there are numerous state and federal statutory requirements the personal representative must adhere to in order to properly and timely administer the estate. Failure to properly or timely follow these requirements could result in additional costs, penalties, taxes, and in some cases, personal liability of the personal representative to the beneficiaries.
Ultimately, the goals are to protect the disabled individual, the decedent, and the beneficiaries; safeguard the property subject to probate; minimize the costs involved in the probate administration process; to properly complete the probate process as quickly as reasonably possible; and, to avoid any personal liability for the personal representative..
Seidel Gamber, PLLC recognizes that the death or disability of a loved one is an emotional and stressful time for a family. We strive to ensure the entire probate is not only completed in accordance with the decedent’s wishes, or the best interests of the disabled individual, but is undertaken so as to be as stress free as possible for the family.
Seidel Gamber, PLLC offers comprehensive probate and estate administration services from pre-administrative consultations to assisting the personal representative throughout the entire administration process. So that we may help you understand your legal obligations, please call us at 919.237.3405 or e-mail us at [email protected] to schedule a consultation.