Probate is essentially the business of dying and it is complicated. In North Carolina, the Personal Representative, also known as the executor/executrix, are tasked with the job of protecting the assets and interests of the beneficiaries. They must:


  • Prepare and file an inventory and a list of claims to be approved by the court within a specific timeframe dictated by statute

    • This inventory should detail all the assets subject to probate (i.e., that did not pass to the beneficiary outside of probate by operation of law or otherwise) 

    • The property must be valued and even appraised as necessary

    • The claims include debts due and owing to the estate (not debts the estate owes to another party)

    • The inventory provides both potential beneficiaries and creditors of the estate an idea of the estate’s assets and claims. [Beneficiaries want to know what they might get and creditors want to know if there is enough money to get paid.] 

    • If the inventory is filed late, the representative could be fined and removed, which would slow down the process (and raise tempers)

  • Beneficiaries do not receive assets until Probate is closed

    • The representative must keep the beneficiaries in the loop, to include providing each with notice via certified mail that the will has been admitted to probate and a copy of the will

  • The representative is responsible for the care and maintenance of estate property, treating it with even greater care than his or her own property

As you can see, the Personal Representative has a big job and it is OK and essential to ask for help! Let Sabrina Winters, an experienced probate attorney guide the representative or beneficiaries during this process, ensuring you abide by the timeline and avoid all of the hidden landmines. Schedule Sabrina today because in probate, time is of the essence.