How We Can Help You:

Estate Administration

We draft Wills, Trusts, and Advanced Directives (including Living Wills and Health Care Agents or Attorneys in Fact) and provide representation in connection with the administration of decedent’s estates.

        A brief description of the Probate of an Estate follows:

Decedents may leave one (or more) wills; hence the familiar “Last” in the term “Last Will and Testament.” When a will is offered for probate, it must be proved to be the last will and testament and otherwise give a person  or some entity the power to administer the Estate. Probate derives from Latin for Probatum, or “having been proved.”

A person may die leaving no will, in which case the Estate is called “intestate.” When a person dies without a Will, the legal personal representative is known as the “Administrator.” This is commonly a family member; however, that person, for various reasons, may renounce their right to administer the Estate in favor of another close relative. Sometimes a particular relative may renounce his or her right to administer the estate if they wish another to serve due to his or her superior statutory right to qualify as personal representative. This often occurs when a parent or parents are first in line to be personal representative but they wish someone “lower on the list” to serve, such as one of their children.

If no one steps forward to serve as personal representative, a creditor may apply and if no other person qualifies or no other person accepts appointment, the court will appoint a representative from the public administrator's office.

Among the many duties of the personal representative are notifying creditors and publishing a Notice to Creditors, in which there are time factors involved in presentation of claims and the possible rejection of same. Pending lawsuits over the decedent’s death or in connection with the Estate itself may complicate matters. 

Real Estate or other property may need to be sold as part of a distribution of assets pursuant to the will or simply to pay debts.
Estate taxes, gift taxes or inheritance taxes must be considered if the estate exceeds certain thresholds.

Costs of the administration such as ordinary taxation, property tax and tax on income of the Estate are paid from Estate assets before distribution by the personal representative.

Other assets may simply need to be transferred from the deceased to his or her beneficiaries, such as securities and life insurance.

Some assets are not subject to probate and thus are not part of the Estate.

Elder Law/Disability, Guardianships and Trusts

Incompetency Proceedings & Guardianship Administration

Planning for Long-Term Care (Nursing home, assisted living)

A client may desire that an attorney act on behalf of the client to proactively develop a plan for coordination of extended care professionals at home until such time as residency in a skilled-care facility is necessary; to monitor the condition of the client; to advocate for the best possible level of attention and care, to pass along status reports to select family and friends. A client may also desire that the attorney act as successor trustee to manage trust assets with the assistance from the clients’ investment counselor and other professionals.

Medicaid Issues and Applications

Establishing and Administering Special Needs Trusts

Settlement Preservation Trusts and Asset preservation

Medicaid Planning and Applications

Asset preservation

Coordination of Extended Care Professionals

Wills, Trusts and Advanced Directives (including Living Wills and Health Care Agents or Attorneys in Fact)

Estate Administration

Ancillary Estate Administration (where the decedent is a domiciliary of another State) 

Special Proceedings

A Special Proceeding is a remedy where a party seeks to establish a status, right, or a particular fact by Petition. A Special Proceeding is different from an ordinary civil action involving a Complaint seeking redress or prevention of a wrong or to protect or enforce a right. The following are some of the Special Proceedings that we handle:

Guardianship (the court supervised process of naming someone to make decisions for an adult who cannot). The process is governed by Chapter 35A of the North Carolina General Statutes.

Assignment of Year’s Allowance

Proceeding Against Unknown Heirs prior to distribution

Sale of Land to Create Assets

Alternatives to Formal Administration

Sale, Mortgage, Exchange or Lease of Ward’s Estate


Power of Sale Foreclosures of Deeds of Trust

Judicial Foreclosures

Proceeding to Determine Ownership of Surplus Funds from Foreclosure Sale

Real Estate

Title examinations: Title searches of Commercial Real Estate and Residential Real Estate.

Deed Preparation: North Carolina General Warranty Deeds; North Carolina Non Warranty Deeds; North Carolina Special Warranty Deeds; Promissory Notes; Purchase Money Promissory Notes; Deeds of Trust; Purchase Money Deeds of Trust; Owner Financing Documentation; Release Deeds; Subordination Agreements; Encroachment and Boundary Line Agreements; Offers to Purchase and Contract; Restrictive Covenants.

Easements and Rights of Way, Water Rights Easements; Access Issues.

Real Property Civil Actions

Partition of Real Property

Proceeding to Establish Boundaries

Cartway Proceedings

Leases or Rental Agreements


Counseling on issues regarding business entity formation

Partnerships, LLCs, Corporations, acquisition of existing businesses, corporate financing, non-compete contracts and other contract drafting,  shareholder agreements and buy-sell arrangements as well as dissolution of business entity.