Estate Administration and Probate Matters

When a loved on dies, their assets will be probated according to their Will. If they do not have a Will, the State will dictate how their assets will be distributed after their final debts have been satisfied. In North Carolina, the Clerk of Court will review all documents filed during the probate of an estate to ensure that the laws of North Carolina are followed and that distributions of the deceasedís assets are in accordance with the Last Will & Testament.

Some important terms to know are Executor/Executrix, Administrator/Administratrix, Letters Testamentary, and Beneficiary.


The Executor (or Executrix) of an estate is named in the Last Will & Testament of the deceased. This is the person responsible for filing all probate documents with the Clerk of Court, locating all assets of the deceased, notifying all creditors of the death, paying all creditors, and distributing all remaining assets to the beneficiaries.


If the decedent has no Last Will & Testament, the law dictates that certain persons can apply to administer the estate. If the application is approved, the Clerk will appoint and Administrator (or Administratrix) who will have all the same duties and powers as the Executor.

Letters Testamentary

The Clerk will issue Letters Testamentary to the Executor (or Letters of Administration to the Administrator), which will allow the Executor to access the decedentís assets and to act on behalf of the estate.


Anyone named in a Will to receive assets is a beneficiary. If there is no Will, the law dictates who the beneficiaries will be.

The Business Center at South Main Square
442 South Main Street, Suite 19, Davidson, NC 28036
Telephone:  (704) 892-9355 | Fax: (704) 892-9309