You may think Inheriting Real Estate in North Carolina is going to be great, especially if you plan to rent the house out or sell quick for cash. Although, if you are not aware of how the process works and have the proper documentation, then it can be quite a stressful process which is why we are going to explain everything you need to know.
The responsibilities that come with inheriting property in Greensboro, North Carolina can be an additional stress that you may not want to deal with. Especially since most homes inherited are rather older and are in need of some TLC / Updating. You may want nothing to do with the house and are looking for a way to sell it fast. Either way, nobody wants to have to do months and months of work when inheriting Real Estate in North Carolina so lets learn how to simplify this process.
When a loved one passes away, what happens to their debts and property? a representative for the deceased person must be named by court to collect the deceased person’s assets, pay any valid debts / creditors, and distribute the deceased person’s property to the proper persons.
When a person died testate, this means that they left a will or a legal document that distributes your assets when you die. A will can include anything, but most include the assets of the deceased and an executor of the will which is the person that will handle passing along assets and paying off any creditors / debts.
Probate is a judicial process in which the executors / heirs go to their local court house to prove a will. If there is no will this is called intestate in which the Next of Kin, closest relative, will receive these rights.
An Executor / Administrators Responsibilities
- collect and inventory the deceased person’s assets, and keep them safe
- have assets professionally appraised, if necessary
- pay valid debts and taxes, and
- give out the remaining property as the will directs.
Is the Probate Process Always Required?
North Carolina offers something many states do not where if the value of the asset is not too large, the probate process can be waved. All you need to do is file a document called an Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property of Decedent with your local courthouse. On this form you will list all of the real property that the deceased owned besides real estate, any debts and requires at least 30 days since the time of death (death certificate required)
Once there is a copy of the completed affidavit filed with the clerk of the superior court in the county where the deceased person lived, you may present a certified copy to institutions that have custody of the given property you are inheriting (a bank, for example).
If the property value is beyond the amount for the affidavit process, the court will appoint an executor or an administrator. If you’re named executor, the court will issue a document called “Letters Testamentary,” which gives you authority to handle the assets. If you’re appointed as administrator, you’ll receive “Letters of Administration.” You must take an oath of office, promising to faithfully carry out your duties.
The probate process in North Carolina is relatively straight forward especially if the deceased leaves a will with given executors / administrators. There are fill-in-the-blank forms at the local courthouse that walk you through the process. Once these are filed with the Superior court clerk who is a an elected county official acts as the probate judge to determine if there are any contestors of the will
Examples When Probate is Not Required
- assets the deceased owned in joint tenancy, which pass automatically to the surviving spouse
- real estate the deceased owned with his or her spouse in “tenancy by the entirety”
- assets for which a beneficiary has been named outside of the will—for example, retirement accounts for which the deceased person named a beneficiary, or payable-on-death bank accounts
- life insurance proceeds or pension benefits that are payable to a named beneficiary
- assets held in a revocable living trust
Clearing Personal Property
When a relative dies and the home is passed along it can be a very emotional time and may even be hard for some to even go inside the house to remove all of the personal property of the deceased. Depending on the condition of the property this could mean going through piles of clutter and decades with of belongings. Delaying the process to avoid painful memories can be extremely costly in which repairs on the property can add up quick which lowers the value as it continues to deteriorate.
A house is one of the most common items passed on and the tax implications are something everyone should have at least general knowledge about inheriting real estate in Greensboro. Under the Unified Gift and Estate Tax system, estate tax is based on the value of property transferred through inheritance, which is calculated based on specific guidelines and includes possible deductions. While often no federal estate tax is owed as the beneficiary, this is not always the case. Every American currently is allowed to inherit up to 11.18 million. You will also want to be certain to investigate gift tax as well. Additionally, there are several states which do have estate taxes, so familiarizing yourself with these laws may be helpful in the future.
Summary of Inheriting Real Estate In NC
Inheriting real estate in North Carolina can be a surprise where you figure you will never have to go through the process, but being informed about how it works can put money in your pockets and take a burden off of your shoulder. We know these can be difficult times and can help you go through the probate process by walking you through the steps and can even go with you to the courthouse if you’d like. Give us a call at 336.530.5204 if you have any further questions about how the process works or if you are able to skip the probate process.