Some of the basic items needed include…

  • A copy of the will, if one exists. Although an original will be needed before starting the probate process, a copy will suffice during your first meeting with an attorney.
  •  A certified copy of the death certificate, which contains a lot of information needed for probate. Probate Court will also need one of the certified copies, as they will not open an estate for someone until they actually have proof that the person has died.
  •  Assets.
  •  Names, ages and addresses of the beneficiaries.

While it can take some time and effort to gather all of the above documentation, don’t think that you have to have absolutely everything before meeting with a lawyer. Just make your best effort to get all of the information together.

How We Can Help

To make the probate easier, we offer our free Estate Administration Notebook that you can download as a PDF through our website: www.Estate911.com. The Notebook helps you to record and organize information that will be needed as the estate is processed. Gathering as much information as you can will make that first meeting with an attorney go smoother and be more productive. Also available via the website is my book, Six Steps To Take When Someone Passes On. Both of my free estate tools are enough to get you started before jumping into a process that you should really leave up to the attorney. The publications are available if you are a North Carolina resident or if the deceased was from North Carolina.

If you have any more questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact our office at (919) 844-7993.