What Legal Duties Does an Executor or Personal Representative Have in North Carolina?

Executors and Personal Representatives of an estate have many legal duties under North Carolina law, including duties to ensure the proper administration and management of the assets of the estate during the probate process.  

Duties of North Carolina Executors and Personal Representatives include:

  • Locating the decedent’s will
  • Gathering information about the decedent’s assets
  • Taking certain measures to safeguard the assets and property of the estate
  • Act in the best interests of the estate
  • Handle all required court filings in an accurate and timely manner
  • Prepare exact accountings of the estate’s assets
  • Properly notify known and unknown creditors
  • Handle all local, North Carolina, and Federal tax filings and liabilities
  • Identify and appropriate pay or reject all claims against the estate
  • Handle administrative expenses of the estate
  • Properly allocate and distribute assets to the estate’s beneficiaries
  • Retain records and receipts for all estate receipts, expenses, and distributions
  • Properly close the estate when administration is complete

While being named Executor can be an honor—your loved one trusted you with the responsibility of settling his or her final affairs—it also comes with a lot of responsibility and risk. An Executor or Personal Representative breaches fiduciary duty is personally liable for such breach—meaning that if you mess up, it comes out of your own pocket, not the estate’s pocket. This is why is it is a smart decision to hire a probate lawyer to assist you.

 

Losing a loved one is hard. The days and weeks after a loss are often fraught with grief, questions, and unfortunately, family complications. It’s a terrible time to try to think through a legal process clearly. It’s often a challenge just to know where to start. Maybe you’re not even sure what questions to ask and whom to ask. How do you know you’re getting good advice and doing it right? You could probably use some help. Our Understanding Estate Administration guide can help. This guide will give you an overview of the probate and estate administration process in plain English. Request your free copy here.

 

Jennifer Mercer
Paralegal, Probate and Estate Administration Team Lead