In this post, you will learn the complete process that you must go through if you are inheriting a property in the state of North Carolina. We will also touch the subject of the costs involved in the probate process. Please keep in mind were not attorneys, so please contact your trusted attorney for them to tell you the detailed process, this is just an overview
Processing the inheritance to the beneficiaries is not that big of a hassle provided that deceased has written a valid will. In case there is no will, then the state will take on the role of assigning the executor who will eventually carry out the last will and testament of the deceased accordingly. Learn more on what to do if there is no will, by clicking this link.
Provided that there is a will, here’s the process.
1. Validation of will
First of all, the will needs to be presented at the wake county court house so that it can be declared a valid public document that is in reality the last will of the deceased. This legal process is known as probate. The probate court will also authorize the executor (written in will) to proceed with the last will and testament of the deceased. Normally the executor mentioned in will is most likely to be the deceased spouse or a close relative. Once the will is declared valid and executor is authorized to carry out the will, the executor has legal authority to carry out the administration of estate.
Besides naming an executor in a will, an individual can also name a health care agent for a living will as well. It is also a part of estate planning which serves as advance directives for medical treatment.
2. Estate valuation
The executor will now have to submit inventory statement to the court which will not only list entire assets of the deceased but also communicate the complete value of his estate. This way any person can visit the court and ascertain the value of the deceased estate and identities of the beneficiaries.
3. Informing the creditors
Before executor can execute the last will and testament of the deceased, he/she will have to inform any creditor out there to whom the deceased owes any money. Executor can inform the known creditors conveniently but for unknown creditors, a legal notice must be published for four consecutive weeks so that any individual or a company can claim as creditor against the estate of the deceased. Also for 3 months after the first publish of legal notice, the executor will avoid any distribution of estate so that the creditors can have ample time to prepare their claim.
4. Paying back the creditors
Once valid creditors claim have been received, it would be executor’s top priority to pay them back. If the estate’s worth is not enough to pay all creditors then their claims will be prioritized. Unfortunately such a predicament would not distribute anything to the beneficiaries.
5. Tax returns filling
In the state of North Carolina you will not have to pay inheritance tax. Also, any inheritance will not be be claimed as income to beneficiary. However if property received as a gift or inheritance and that asset generates income then that income is taxable. If the estate is given to a trust and income from it is distributed or credited to the beneficiary then again that income is taxable.
6. Estates annual accounts
If for some reasons the probate takes more than one year then the executor will provide annual accounts to the court regarding the receipts and expenditure of the estate for that one year.
7. Receiving Inheritance
Finally when the creditors’ claims are settled and any liable taxes are paid, then the executor is ready to distribute the inheritance to beneficiary according to the will of the deceased. If it’s a valid will then there should be no problem in inheritance distribution but in case of invalid will, the executor will distribute the estate according to the state’s law.
Time and Cost of probate
Luckily for North Carolina, estate and inheritance tax no longer exist as of 1 January 2013 making it an attractive state to retire especially in its capital Raleigh. Even if inheritance tax did exist then it could’ve been avoided by setting up a revocable living trust.
North Carolina probate cost starts from 40 cents per $100 to $6000 according to the statute. Besides cost of court, there are other costs as well e.g. executor’s fee, attorney’s fee, and fee of any other services used during the execution of inheritance. Time for entire process of distributing inheritance can take from 3 months to more than a year.
I inherited a house, now what?
You will gain deed to the process once the probate process has gone it’s full course. At that point, you may do with the property as you wish. In most cases here in Raleigh, North Carolina, people who inherited property will eventually sell the property.
If you inherited a property in Raleigh ( or anywhere in the Wake County) and are interested in selling it, contact NC HomeBuyers, the #1 house buying company in Raleigh, to get a cash offer in less than 24 hours.
If you are ready to receive a cash offer for your home, click this link and fill out the form, we will contact you ASAPI