Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ Probate & Guardianship

Jackie Bedard
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Attorney, Author, and Founder of Carolina Family Estate Planning

Our office has assembled and is regularly updating a list of important local, state, and federal resources to help our clients and the community during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic. Click here to visit the Coronavirus Resource Center.

Table of Contents

 

My Loved One Recently Passed Away and I'm Not Sure How to Get Started

If you've recently lost a loved one and need help understanding the first steps and how the probate and estate administration process typically works, download our free guide, Understanding Estate Administration

As of March 19, 2020: Chief Justice Beasley has issued an order extending filing deadlines. Any documents due to be filed from March 16, 2020 to April 17, 2020, will be considered timely filed if received by close of business on April 17, 2020 and any actions requiring to be done during that time can also be postponed until April 17, 2020.

The Estates Division office hours have been reduced to 9 am to 1 pm by appointment only. No visitors or drop-offs. Essential filings only (special proceedings, guardianships, involuntary commitments) are limited to 1 pm to 5 pm. The clerk's office is asking for everything else to be mailed. It is our understanding that the clerk's office is half-staffed right now, so expect a significant slow-down in processing. Further, the clerk's office is not allowing outsiders into the office to check creditors' claims. All creditor checks must be completed by call or email to the clerk's office. Further, we've received news from several banks that they have moved to drive-through service only which may impact the ability of executors and personal representatives to open and manage estate accounts. Based on the foregoing, we would strongly advise executors and personal representatives to consider seeking legal counsel for navigating this new terrain as we are equipped to handle these services virtually and by mail.

It's likely that the courts will begin experiencing a backlog of cases due to reduced operations, thus, it’s important get your case in the queue as quickly as possible.

Our office is equipped to handle most probate and estate administration matters by mail. Thus, if you need assistance please contact us for help at 919-443-3035 or [email protected].

 

I’m Currently Serving as an Executor for a Loved One’s Estate and I Have Filing Deadlines Coming Up—What Do I Do?

As of March 19, 2020: Chief Justice Beasley has issued an order extending filing deadlines. Any documents due to be filed from March 16, 2020 to April 17, 2020, will be considered timely filed if received by close of business on April 17, 2020 and any actions requiring to be done during that time can also be postponed until April 17, 2020.

The Estates Division office hours have been reduced to 9 am to 1 pm by appointment only. No visitors or drop-offs. Essential filings only (special proceedings, guardianships, involuntary commitments) are limited to 1 pm to 5 pm. The clerk's office is asking for everything else to be mailed. It is our understanding that the clerk's office is half-staffed right now, so expect a significant slow-down in processing. Further, the clerk's office is not allowing outsiders into the office to check creditors' claims. All creditor checks must be completed by call or email to the clerk's office. Further, we've received news from several banks that they have moved to drive-through service only which may impact the ability of executors and personal representatives to open and manage estate accounts. Based on the foregoing, we would strongly advise executors and personal representatives to consider seeking legal counsel for navigating this new terrain as we are equipped to handle these services virtually and by mail.

It's likely that the courts will begin experiencing a backlog of cases due to reduced operations, thus, it’s important get your case in the queue as quickly as possible.

As of March 15, 2020: The North Carolina Courts are largely closed in response to COVID-19. Non-emergency meetings and hearings are being postponed.  Per the press announcement, “involuntary commitment hearings, guardianship hearings, and pressing estate administration matters should be conducted, but other matters before the clerk…must be postponed.”

Our office is equipped to handle most probate and estate administration matters by mail. Thus, if you need assistance please contact us for help at 919-443-3035 or [email protected]. If you've recently lost a loved one and need help understanding the first steps and how the probate and estate administration process typically works, download our free guide, Understanding Estate Administration.

 

I’m Currently Serving a Guardian for a Loved One and I Have Filing Deadline or Hearing Coming Up—What Do I Do?

As of March 19, 2020: Chief Justice Beasley has issued an order extending filing deadlines. Any documents due to be filed from March 16, 2020 to April 17, 2020, will be considered timely filed if received by close of business on April 17, 2020 and any actions requiring to be done during that time can also be postponed until April 17, 2020.

The Estates Division office hours have been reduced to 9 am to 1 pm by appointment only. No visitors or drop-offs. Essential filings only (special proceedings, guardianships, involuntary commitments) are limited to 1 pm to 5 pm. The clerk's office is asking for everything else to be mailed. It is our understanding that the clerk's office is half-staffed right now, so expect a significant slow-down in processing. Based on the foregoing, we would strongly advise seeking legal counsel for navigating this new and rapidly changing terrain.

It's likely that the courts will begin experiencing a backlog of cases due to reduced operations, thus, it’s important get your case in the queue as quickly as possible.

As of March 15, 2020: The North Carolina Courts are largely closed in response to COVID-19. Non-emergency meetings and hearings are being postponed.  Per the press announcement, “involuntary commitment hearings, guardianship hearings, and pressing estate administration matters should be conducted, but other matters before the clerk…must be postponed.”

If you need assistance please contact us for help at 919-443-3035 or [email protected].

 

We'll be continuing to add more FAQs and Information on a regular basis. To receive updates, sign up for our special Coronavirus & Estate Planning Guide and all recipients will receive any update that we send out. Plus, we're working on some fun stuff too to help bring a bit of joy to an uncertain situation. Click HERE to sign up.

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