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North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 28A Administration of Decedents' Estates

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Article 1 - Definitions and Other General Provisions.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-1-1.   Definitions
    As used in this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the term: (1) "Collector" means any person authorized to take possession, custody, or control...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-1-2.   Repealed by Session Laws 1979, c. 88, s. 2

Article 2 - Jurisdiction for Probate of Wills and Administration of Estates of Decedents.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2-1.   Clerk of superior court
    The clerk of superior court of each county, ex officio judge of probate, shall have jurisdiction of the administration, settlement, and distribution of estates...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2-2.   Assistant clerk of superior court
    An assistant clerk of superior court shall have jurisdiction as provided by G.S. 7A-102. (1973, c. 1329, s. 3.)
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2-3.   Jurisdiction where clerk interested
    Whenever the clerk of superior court is a subscribing witness to a will offered for probate in the clerk's county or has an interest,...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2-4.   Subject matter jurisdiction of the clerk of superior court in estate proceedings
    (a) The clerks of superior court of this State, as ex officio judges of probate, shall have original jurisdiction of estate proceedings. Except as...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2-5.   Subject matter jurisdiction of the clerk of superior court in special proceedings
    The clerk of superior court also shall have jurisdiction over special proceedings, including, but not limited to, the following: (1) Special proceedings to obtain...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2-6.   Commencement of estate proceedings, pleadings, consolidation, and joinder
    (a) Contested Estate Proceedings. - Contested estate proceedings brought against adverse parties shall be commenced by petition in the existing estate administration file. All...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2-7.   Representation of parties
    (a) Notwithstanding any other applicable rule of the Rules of Civil Procedure or provision of Chapter 1 of the General Statutes, in any contested...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2-8.   Waiver of notice
    A party, or a representative of a party as provided in G.S. 28A-2-7, may waive notice by a writing signed by the party, the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2-9.   Appeals of estate proceedings and special proceedings
    (a) With the exception of appeals of special proceedings heard by the clerk of superior court, appeals in estate matters shall be as provided...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2-10.   Approval of settlement agreements by the clerk
    The clerk shall have the authority, in the clerk's discretion, to consider and approve settlement agreements where the following apply: (1) The controversy arises...

Article 2A - Probate of Will.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-1.   Executor may apply for probate
    Any executor named in a will may, at any time after the death of the testator, apply to the clerk of the superior court,...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-2.   Executor failing, beneficiary may apply
    If no executor applies to have the will proved within 60 days after the death of the testator, any devisee named in the will,...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-3.   Clerk to notify devisees of probate of wills
    The clerks of the superior court of the State are hereby required and directed to notify by mail, all devisees whose addresses are known,...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-4.   Clerk shall compel production of will
    Every clerk of the superior court having jurisdiction, on application by affidavit setting forth the facts, shall, by summons, compel any person in the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-5.   What shown on application for probate
    On application to the clerk of the superior court, he must ascertain by affidavit of the applicant - (1) That such applicant is the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-6.   Proof and examination in writing
    Every clerk of the superior court shall take in writing the proofs and examinations of the witnesses touching the execution of a will, and...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-7.   Probate in solemn form
    (a) A person entitled to apply for probate of a will pursuant to G.S. 28A-2A-1 or G.S. 28A-2A-2 may file a petition for probate...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-8.   Manner of probate of attested written will
    (a) An attested written will, executed as provided by G.S. 31-3.3, may be probated in the following manner: (1) Upon the testimony of at...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-9.   Manner of probate of holographic will
    A holographic will may be probated only in the following manner: (1) Upon the testimony of at least three competent witnesses that they believe...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-10.   Manner of probate of nuncupative will
    (a) No nuncupative will may be probated later than six months from the time it was made unless it was reduced to writing within...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-11.   Probate of wills of members of the Armed Forces of the United States
    In addition to the methods already provided in existing statutes therefor, a will executed by a person while in the Armed Forces of the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-12.   Probate conclusive until vacated; substitution of consolidated bank as executor or trustee under will
    Such record and probate is conclusive in evidence of the validity of the will, until it is vacated on appeal or declared void by...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-13.   Wills filed in clerk's office
    All original wills shall remain in the clerk's office, among the records of the court where the same shall be proved, and to such...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-14.   Validation of wills heretofore certified and recorded
    All wills which have prior to March 9, 1921, been certified and recorded in the office of the clerk of the superior court of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-15.   Certified copy of will proved in another state or country
    When a will, made by a citizen of this State, is proved and allowed in some other state or country, and the original will...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-16.   Examination of witnesses by affidavit
    (a) The examination of witnesses to a will may be taken and subscribed in the form of an affidavit before a notary public or...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-17.   Certified copy of will of nonresident recorded
    (a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, if the will of a citizen or subject of another state or country...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-18.   Probates validated where proof taken by commissioner or another clerk
    In all cases of the probate of any will made prior to March 8, 1899, in common form before any clerk of the superior...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-19.   Probates in another state before 1860 validated
    In all cases where any will devises land in this State, and the original will was duly admitted to probate in some other state...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-20.   Validation of wills recorded without probate by subscribing witnesses
    In all cases where wills and testaments were executed prior to the first day of January, 1875, and which appear as recorded in the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-21.   Validation of wills admitted on oath of one subscribing witness
    In all cases where last wills and testaments which appear as recorded in the record of last wills and testaments to have had two...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-22.   Validation of probates of wills when witnesses examined before notary public; acts of deputy clerks validated
    Whenever any last will and testament has been probated, based upon the examination of the subscribing witness or the subscribing witnesses, taken before a...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-2A-23.   Validation of wills when recorded without order of probate or registration upon oath and examination of subscribing witness or witnesses
    Whenever any last will and testament has been duly presented to the clerk of the superior court, and the said will together with the...

Article 3 - Venue for Probate of Wills and Administration of Estates of Decedents.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-3-1.   Proper county
    The venue for the probate of a will and for all proceedings relating to the administration of the estate of a decedent shall be:...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-3-2.   Proceedings to determine venue
    (a) If proceedings are commenced in more than one county or if upon commencement of a proceeding a question arises as to the proper...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-3-3.   Procedure after determination of improper appointment
    Where a person has been improperly appointed, and a different person in another county is determined under G.S. 28A-3-2(a) to be the properly appointed...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-3-4.   Liability of personal representative appointed in improper county
    When a personal representative has been appointed in an improper county, and a different person in another county is determined under G.S. 28A-3-2(a) to...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-3-5.   Waiver of venue
    If questions as to priority of venue are not raised within three months after the issuance of letters testamentary or letters of administration to...

Article 4 - Qualification and Disqualification for Letters Testamentary and Letters of Administration.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-4-1.   Order of persons qualified to serve
    (a) Letters Testamentary. - Letters testamentary shall be granted to the executor or executors named or designated in the will, or if no such...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-4-2.   Persons disqualified to serve as personal representative
    No person is qualified to serve as a personal representative who: (1) Is under 18 years of age; (2) Has been adjudged incompetent in...

Article 5 - Renunciation by Personal Representative.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-5-1.   Renunciation by executor
    (a) Express Renunciation by Executor. - Any person named or designated as executor in a duly probated will may renounce the office by filing...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-5-2.   Renunciation of right to administer
    (a) Express Renunciation. - Any person entitled to apply for letters of administration may renounce the office by filing with the clerk of superior...

Article 6 - Appointment of Personal Representative.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-6-1.   Application for letters; grant of letters
    (a) The application for letters of administration or letters testamentary shall be in the form of an affidavit sworn to before an officer authorized...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-6-2.   Letters issued without notice; exceptions
    Letters of administration or letters testamentary may be issued without notice, including upon a finding of implied renunciation under G.S. 28A-5-1(b) or G.S. 28A-5-2(b),...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-6-3.   Appointment of successor to personal representative
    When the appointment of a sole or last surviving personal representative is terminated by death, resignation pursuant to Article 10 of this Chapter, or...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-6-4.   Right to contest appointment; procedure
    Prior to the issuance of letters, any interested person may, by written petition filed with the clerk of superior court, and served upon such...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-6-5.   Letters not subject to collateral attack
    The validity of letters issued shall not be subject to collateral attack. (1973, c. 1329, s. 3.)

Article 7 - Oath.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-7-1.   Oath required before letters issue
    Before letters testamentary, letters of administration or letters of collection are issued to any person, the person shall take and subscribe an oath or...

Article 8 - Bond.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-8-1.   Bond required before letters issue; when bond not required
    (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, every personal representative, before letters are issued, shall give bond, conditioned as provided...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-8-2.   Provisions of bond
    A bond given pursuant to this Article shall be: (1) Payable to the State to the use of all persons interested in the estate;...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-8-3.   Modification of bond requirements
    (a) Increase of Bond or Security in Case of Inadequacy or Insufficiency. - (1) The clerk of superior court, on the clerk's own motion,...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-8-4.   Failure to give additional bond; letters revoked
    If any personal representative fails to give an additional bond or new bond or to furnish additional security as ordered by the clerk of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-8-5.   Rights of surety in danger of loss
    Any surety on the bond of a personal representative who is in danger of loss under the surety's suretyship may file a verified petition...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-8-6.   Action against obligors on bond of personal representative
    Any person injured by the breach of any bond given by a personal representative or collector may institute a civil action against one or...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-8-1.1.   Deposited money; exclusion in computing amount of bond
    Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 28A-8-1, in any proceeding for the determination of the amount of bond to be required of the personal representative...

Article 9 - Revocation of Letters.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-9-1.   Revocation after hearing
    (a) Grounds. - Letters testamentary, letters of administration, or letters of collection may be revoked after hearing on any of the following grounds: (1)...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-9-2.   Summary revocation
    (a) Grounds. - Letters testamentary, letters of administration, or letters of collection, shall be revoked by the clerk of superior court without hearing when:...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-9-3.   Effect of revocation
    Upon entry of the order revoking a personal representative's or collector's letters, the authority of the personal representative or collector shall cease. The personal...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-9-4.   Appeal; stay effected
    Any interested person may appeal from the order of the clerk of superior court granting or denying revocation as a special proceeding pursuant to...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-9-5.   Interlocutory orders
    Pending any proceeding or appeal with respect to revocation of letters, the clerk of superior court may enter such interlocutory orders as are necessary...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-9-6.   Appointment of successor to personal representative or collector whose letters have been revoked; when not required
    Upon the revocation of letters issued to a sole or last surviving personal representative or collector, the clerk of superior court shall appoint another...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-9-7.   Rights and duties devolve on successor
    After the revocation of letters pursuant to this Article and upon the qualification and appointment of a successor, the substituted personal representative or collector...

Article 10 - Resignation.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-10-1.   Clerk's power to accept resignation
    The clerk of superior court in the county where a person has been appointed personal representative shall have the power to accept that person's...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-10-2.   Contents of petition; notice
    (a) When a personal representative desires to resign the personal representative's office, the personal representative shall file a verified petition in the office of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-10-3.   Statement of account; record of conduct
    When the personal representative files the personal representative's petition requesting permission to resign the personal representative's office, the personal representative shall also file a...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-10-4.   Hearing; order
    The clerk of superior court shall conduct a hearing in accordance with Article 2 of this Chapter on the petition not sooner than 10...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-10-5.   When resignation becomes effective
    The resignation shall not become effective until: (1) A successor has been duly qualified, unless G.S. 28A-10-8 is applicable; and (2) The clerk of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-10-6.   Appeal; stay effected
    Any interested person who has appeared at the hearing and objected to the order of the clerk of superior court granting or denying resignation...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-10-7.   Rights and duties devolve on successor
    Upon the qualification and appointment of a successor to a personal representative whose resignation has been allowed as provided in G.S. 28A-10-4, the substituted...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-10-8.   When appointment of successor to personal representative who has resigned is not required
    When two or more personal representatives have qualified, and one or more personal representatives resign pursuant to this Article, leaving in office one or...

Article 11 - Collectors.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-11-1.   Appointment and qualifications of collectors
    When for any reason other than a situation provided for in Chapter 28B or Chapter 28C entitled "Estates of Absentees in Military Service" and...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-11-2.   Oath and bond
    Every collector shall take an oath as prescribed in G.S. 28A-7-1 and give bond as required in Article 8 of this Chapter for personal...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-11-3.   Duties and powers of collectors
    (a) Every collector shall: (1) Take such possession, custody, or control of the personal property of the decedent as in the exercise of reasonable...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-11-4.   When collectors' powers cease; settlement of accounts
    (a) When letters testamentary or letters of administration are issued, or when in any case the clerk of superior court terminates the appointment of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-11-5.   Compensation
    A collector shall be compensated in accordance with Article 23 of this Chapter. (1977, c. 814, s. 4.)

Article 12 - Public Administrator.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-12-1.   Appointment and term
    There shall be a public administrator in every county, appointed by the clerk of superior court, with the written approval of the senior resident...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-12-2.   Oath of office
    The public administrator shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation in the form provided in G.S. 11-11 for administrators and in the manner...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-12-3.   Qualification and bond
    (a) The public administrator shall qualify and give bond with regard to each estate administered by the public administrator as provided in Article 8...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-12-4.   When public administrator shall apply for letters
    The public administrator shall apply for and may, with the approval of the clerk of superior court, obtain letters on the estates of decedents...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-12-5.   Powers and duties
    (a) The public administrator shall have, in respect to the several estates in the public administrator's hands, all the rights and powers and shall...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-12-6.   Removal from office
    If letters of administration issued to the public administrator with respect to any estate are subsequently revoked on the grounds that they were obtained...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-12-7.   Procedure after removal from office
    The clerk of superior court shall require of any public administrator who is removed from office pursuant to G.S. 28A-12-6 a complete accounting of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-12-8.   Compensation
    A public administrator shall be compensated in accordance with Article 23 of this Chapter. (1977, c. 814, s. 5.)

Article 13 - Representative's Powers, Duties and Liabilities.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-13-1.   Time of accrual of duties and powers
    The duties and powers of a personal representative commence upon the personal representative's appointment. The powers of a personal representative relate back to give...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-13-2.   General duties; relation to persons interested in estate
    A personal representative is a fiduciary who, in addition to the specific duties stated in this Chapter, is under a general duty to settle...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-13-3.   Powers of a personal representative or fiduciary
    (a) Except as qualified by express limitations imposed in a will of the decedent or a court order, and subject to the provisions of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-13-4.   Continuance of farming operations of deceased persons
    When any person dies while engaged in farming operations, the decedent's personal representative is authorized to continue such farming operations until the end of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-13-5.   Personal representatives hold in joint tenancy
    Any estate or interest in property which becomes vested in two or more personal representatives shall be held by them in joint tenancy with...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-13-6.   Exercise of powers of joint personal representatives by one or more than one
    (a) Repealed by Session Laws 2005-192, s. 5, effective January 1, 2006. (b) If a will expressly makes provision for the execution of any...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-13-7.   Powers and duties of successor personal representative
    A successor personal representative is one appointed to succeed a personal representative whose appointment has terminated by death, resignation or revocation. Unless a contrary...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-13-8.   Powers and duties of administrator with will annexed
    When an administrator with the will annexed has been appointed, whether or not the administrator is succeeding a previously appointed personal representative, that administrator...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-13-9.   Powers of surviving personal representative
    When one or more of those nominated as coexecutors in a will is not appointed, or when the appointment of one or more joint...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-13-10.   Liability of personal representative
    (a) Property of Estate. - A personal representative shall be liable for and chargeable in the personal representative's accounts with all of the estate...

Article 14 - Notice to Creditors.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-14-1.   Notice for claims
    (a) Every personal representative and collector after the granting of letters shall notify all persons, firms and corporations having claims against the decedent to...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-14-2.   Proof of notice
    A copy of the notice directed by G.S. 28A-14-1(a) to be posted or published, together with an affidavit or affidavits of one of the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-14-3.   Personal notice to creditor
    The personal representative or collector may cause the notice to be personally served on any creditor. (1868-9, c. 113, s. 32; Code, s. 1424;...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-14-1.1.   Validation of certain notices
    (a) Any notice to creditors published or posted under G.S. 28A-14-1 which did not, in the advertisement, name the day after which claims could...

Article 15 - Assets; Discovery of Assets.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-15-1.   Assets of the estate generally
    (a) All of the real and personal property, both legal and equitable, of a decedent shall be assets available for the discharge of debts...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-15-2.   Title and possession of property
    (a) Personal Property. - Subsequent to the death of the decedent and prior to the appointment and qualification of the personal representative or collector,...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-15-3.   Nonexoneration of encumbered property
    When real or personal property subject to any lien or security interest, except judgment liens, is specifically devised, the devisee takes the property subject...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-15-4.   Encumbered assets
    When any assets of the estate are encumbered by mortgage, pledge, lien or other security interest, the personal representative may pay the encumbrance or...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-15-5.   Order in which assets appropriated; abatement
    (a) General Rules. - In the absence of testamentary indication as to the order of abatement, or some other controlling statute, shares of devisees...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-15-6.   Federal income tax refunds - joint returns
    Upon the determination by the United States Treasury Department of an overpayment of income tax by a married couple filing a joint federal income...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-15-7.   Federal income tax refunds - separate returns
    Upon the determination by the United States Treasury Department of an overpayment of income tax by any married person filing a separate return, any...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-15-8.   State income tax returns
    Upon the determination by the Secretary of Revenue of North Carolina of an overpayment of income tax by any married person, any refund of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-15-9.   Excess funds
    If the amount of any refund exceeds the sums specified in G.S. 28A-15-6, 28A-15-7 or 28A-15-8, the sums specified therein and one half of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-15-9.1.   Repealed by Session Laws 2011-326, s. 6, effective June 27, 2011
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-15-10.   Assets of decedent's estate for limited purposes
    (a) When needed to satisfy claims against a decedent's estate, assets may be acquired by a personal representative or collector from the following sources:...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-15-11.   Debt due from personal representative not discharged by appointment
    The appointment of any person as personal representative does not discharge any debt or demand due from such person to the decedent. (1868-9, c....
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-15-12.   Actions to recover property of decedent
    (a) Repealed by Session Laws 2011-344, s. 4, effective January 1, 2012, and applicable to estates of decedents dying on or after that date....
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-15-13.   Opening and inventory of decedent's safe-deposit box
    (a) Definitions. - The following definitions apply to this section: (1) Institution. - Any entity or person having supervision or possession of a safe-deposit...

Article 16 - Sales or Leases of Personal Property.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-16-1.   Sales or leases without court order
    (a) A personal representative has the power to sell, at either a public or private sale, or to lease, personal property of the decedent...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-16-2.   Sales or leases by court order
    (a) All sales or leases of personal property of the decedent by a collector shall be made only upon order obtained, by motion, from...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-16-3.   Sales of household furnishings
    If the decedent is survived by a spouse, no sale or lease shall be made of the household furnishings in the usual dwelling house...

Article 17 - Sales, Leases or Mortgages of Real Property.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-17-1.   Sales of real property
    Pursuant to authority contained in G.S. 28A-15-1 the personal representative may, at any time, apply to the clerk of superior court of the county...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-17-2.   Contents of petition for sale
    The petition to sell real property shall include: (1) A description of the real property and interest therein sought to be sold; (2) The...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-17-3.   Petition for partition
    When it is alleged that the real property of the decedent sought to be sold consists in whole or in part of an undivided...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-17-4.   Heirs and devisees necessary parties
    No order to sell real property shall be granted until the heirs and devisees of the decedent have been made parties to the special...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-17-5.   Property subject to sale; conveyance by deceased in fraud of creditors
    The real property subject to sale under this Article shall include real property recovered from a fraudulent alienee pursuant to G.S. 28A-15-10(b). (1868-9, c....
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-17-6.   Adverse claimant to be heard; procedure
    When the real property sought to be sold, or any interest therein, is claimed by another person, such claimant may be made a party...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-17-7.   Order granted if petition not denied; public or private sale; procedure for sale
    If, by default or admission, the allegations in the petition are not controverted, the clerk of superior court may summarily order a sale. The...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-17-8.   Under power in will, sales public or private
    Sales of real property made pursuant to authority given by will may be either public or private, unless the will otherwise directs, and may...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-17-9.   Death of vendor under contract; representative to convey
    When any decedent has contracted to sell any real property and has given bond or other enforceable written contract to the purchaser to convey...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-17-10.   Title in personal representative for estate; he or successor to convey
    When real property is conveyed to a personal representative for the benefit of the estate the personal representative represents, the personal representative or any...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-17-11.   Personal representative may lease or mortgage
    In lieu of asking for an order of sale of real property, the personal representative may request the clerk of superior court to issue...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-17-12.   Sale, lease or mortgage of real property by heirs or devisees
    (a) If the first publication or posting of the general notice to creditors as provided for in G.S. 28A-14-1 occurs within two years after...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-17-13.   Prior validating acts
    Chapter 70 of the Public Laws of 1923, Chapter 48 of the Public Laws of 1925, Chapter 146 of the Public Laws of 1931,...

Article 18 - Actions and Proceedings.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-1.   Survival of actions to and against personal representative
    (a) Upon the death of any person, all demands whatsoever, and rights to prosecute or defend any action or special proceeding, existing in favor...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-2.   Death by wrongful act of another; recovery not assets
    (a) When the death of a person is caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default of another, such as would, if the injured...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-3.   To sue or defend in representative capacity
    All actions and proceedings brought by or against personal representatives or collectors upon any cause of action or right to which the estate of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-4.   Service on or appearance of one binds all
    In actions against personal representatives or collectors, they are all to be considered as one person, representing the decedent; and if the summons is...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-5.   When creditors may sue on claim; execution in such action
    An action may be brought by a creditor against the personal representative or collector on a demand at any time after it is due,...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-6.   Service by publication on executor without bond
    Whenever process may issue against an executor who has not given bond, and the same cannot be served upon the executor by reason of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-7.   Execution by successor in office
    Any personal representative or collector may have execution issued on any judgment recovered by any person who preceded the personal representative or collector in...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-8.   Action to continue, though letters revoked
    In case the letters of a personal representative or collector are revoked, pending an action to which the personal representative or collector is a...

Article 19 - Claims Against the Estate.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-1.   Manner of presentation of claims
    (a) A claim against a decedent's estate must be in writing and state the amount or item claimed, or other relief sought, the basis...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-2.   Further information or affidavit of claim may be required
    (a) If the personal representative or collector so elects, the personal representative or collector may demand any or all of the following prior to...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-3.   Limitations on presentation of claims
    (a) All claims against a decedent's estate which arose before the death of the decedent, except contingent claims based on any warranty made in...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-4.   Payment of claims and charges
    As soon as the personal representative or collector is possessed of sufficient means over and above the other costs of administration, the personal representative...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-5.   Contingent or unliquidated claims
    (a) If a contingent or unliquidated claim becomes absolute before the distribution of the estate of the decedent, it shall be paid in the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-6.   Order of payment of claims
    (a) After payment of costs and expenses of administration, the claims against the estate of a decedent must be paid in the following order:...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-7.   Satisfaction of claims other than by payment
    Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, (1) If a decedent was liable in person at the time of the decedent's death for...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-8.   Funeral expenses of decedent
    (a) Any person authorized under G.S. 130A-420 to dispose of a decedent's body may bind a decedent's estate for funeral expenses and related charges,...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-9.   Gravestone and burial place authorized
    (a) If the decedent has duly appointed a health care agent pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 32A of the General Statutes to provide...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-10.   Perpetual care of cemetery lot
    It shall be lawful for a personal representative to provide for perpetual care for the lot upon which is located the grave of the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-11.   Pleading statute of limitations
    When claims are not barred pursuant to G.S. 28A-19-3, it shall be within the discretion of the personal representative or collector acting in good...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-12.   Claims due representative not preferred
    No property or assets of the decedent shall be retained by the personal representative or collector in satisfaction of the personal representative's or collector's...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-13.   No preference within class
    No personal representative or collector shall give to any claim any preference whatever, either by paying it out of its class or by paying...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-14.   Claims not due rebated
    Claims owed by the estate but not yet due may be paid by the personal representative on a rebate of interest thereon for the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-15.   Disputed claim may be referred
    If the personal representative doubts the justness of any claim so presented, the personal representative may enter into an agreement, in writing, with the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-16.   Disputed claim not referred barred in three months
    If a claim is presented to and rejected by the personal representative or collector, and not referred as provided in G.S. 28A-19-15, the claimant...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-17.   No lien by suit against representative
    No lien shall be created by the commencement of a suit against a personal representative or collector. (1868-9, c. 113, s. 41; Code, s....
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-18.   When costs against representative allowed
    No costs shall be recovered in any action against a personal representative or collector unless it appears that payment was unreasonably delayed or neglected,...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-19.   Claims for equitable distribution
    (a) The provisions of G.S. 28A-19-5 and G.S. 28A-19-7 shall not apply to claims for equitable distribution. (b) The personal representative may enter into...

Article 20 - Inventory.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-20-1.   Inventory within three months
    Every personal representative and collector, within three months after the qualification of that personal representative or collector, shall return to the clerk, on oath,...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-20-2.   Compelling the inventory
    (a) If the inventory specified in G.S. 28A-20-1 is not filed as prescribed, the clerk of superior court must issue an order requiring the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-20-3.   Supplemental inventory
    (a) Whenever any property not included in the original inventory report becomes known to any personal representative or collector or whenever the personal representative...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-20-4.   Employment of appraisers
    A personal representative or collector may, but shall not be required to, employ qualified and disinterested appraisers to assist in ascertaining the fair market...

Article 21 - Accounting.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-21-1.   Annual accounts
    Until the final account has been filed pursuant to G.S. 28A-21-2, the personal representative or collector shall, for so long as any of the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-21-2.   Final accounts
    (a) Unless the time for filing the final account has been extended by the clerk of superior court, the personal representative or collector must...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-21-3.   What accounts must contain
    Accounts filed with the clerk of superior court pursuant to G.S. 28A-21-1, signed and under oath, shall contain: (1) The period which the account...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-21-3.1.   Repealed by Session Laws 2011-326, s. 6, effective June 27, 2011
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-21-4.   Clerk may compel account
    If any personal representative or collector fails to account as directed in G.S. 28A-9-3, 28A-21-1 or 28A-21-2 or renders an unsatisfactory account, the clerk...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-21-5.   Vouchers presumptive evidence
    Vouchers, without other proof, are presumptive evidence of disbursement, unless impeached. If lost, the accounting party must, if required, make oath to that fact...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-21-2.1.   Reserved for future codification purposes
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-21-2.2.   Final accounting by limited personal representative
    (a) Filing Requirement. - A limited personal representative appointed pursuant to Article 29 of this Chapter shall file a sworn affidavit or report listing...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-21-6.   Permissive notice of final accounts
    The personal representative or collector may, but is not required to, give written notice of a proposed final account pursuant to G.S. 1A-1, Rule...

Article 22 - Distribution.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-22-1.   Scheme of distribution; testate and intestate estates
    After the payment of costs of administration, taxes and other valid claims against the decedent's estate, the personal representative shall distribute the remaining assets...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-22-2.   Shares of after-born and after-adopted children
    The share of an after-born or after-adopted child, as provided by G.S. 29-9 and 31-5.5, shall be allotted to the after-born or after-adopted child...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-22-3.   Special proceeding against unknown heirs of decedent before distribution of estate
    If there may be heirs, born or unborn, of the decedent, other than those known to the personal representative and whose names and residences...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-22-4.   Distribution to nonresident trustee only upon appointment of process agent
    (a) No assets of the estate of a decedent subject to administration in this State shall be delivered or transferred to a trustee of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-22-5.   Distribution of assets in kind in satisfaction of devises and transfers in trust
    (a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, whenever under any will or trust indenture the executor, trustee or other fiduciary...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-22-6.   Agreements with taxing authorities to secure benefit of federal marital deduction
    The executor, trustee, or other fiduciary having discretionary powers under a will or trust indenture with respect to the selection of assets to be...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-22-7.   Distribution to parent or guardian of a minor
    (a) If a devise of personal property to a person under the age of 18 has a total value of less than one thousand...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-22-8.   Executor or trustee; discretion over distributions
    Unless otherwise restricted by the terms of the will or trust, an executor or trustee shall have absolute discretion to make distributions in cash...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-22-9.   Distribution to known but unlocated devisees or heirs
    (a) If there are known but unlocated devisees or heirs of property held by the personal representative, the personal representative may deliver the share...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-22-10.   Distribution of assets of inoperative trust
    When the facts at the time of distribution of property to a trust are such that the trust would be inoperative under the terms...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-22-11.   Agreements with heirs
    Any agreement by an heir, unknown or known but unlocated, the primary purpose of which is to locate or recover, or assist in the...

Article 23 - Settlement.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-23-1.   Settlement after final account filed
    When the personal representative or collector has paid or otherwise satisfied or provided for all claims against the estate, has distributed the remainder of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-23-2.   Payment into court of fund due minor
    When any personal representative or collector holds property due a minor without a guardian and desires to file the personal representative's or collector's petition...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-23-3.   Commissions allowed personal representatives; representatives guilty of misconduct or default
    (a) Personal representatives, collectors or public administrators shall be entitled to commissions to be fixed in the discretion of the clerk of superior court...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-23-4.   Counsel fees allowable to attorneys serving as representatives
    The clerk of superior court, in the discretion of the clerk of superior court, is authorized and empowered to allow counsel fees to an...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-23-5.   Reopening administration
    If, after an estate has been settled and the personal representative discharged, other property of the estate shall be discovered, or if it shall...

Article 24 - 120-Hour Survivorship Requirement; Revised Simultaneous Death Act.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-24-1.   Definitions
    In this Article: (1) "Co-owners with right of survivorship" includes joint tenants in a joint tenancy with right of survivorship, tenants by the entireties,...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-24-2.   Requirement of survival by 120 hours
    (a) Except as otherwise provided in this Article, where the title to property, the devolution of property, the right to elect an interest in...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-24-3.   Co-owners with right of survivorship; requirement of survival by 120 hours
    Except as otherwise provided in this Article: (1) If there are two or more co-owners with right of survivorship and it is not established...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-24-4.   Survival of an event; 120-hour period not applicable
    For purposes of a governing instrument that requires survival of an event, other than the death of another individual, the 120-hour survivorship requirement of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-24-5.   Victim deemed to survive slayer
    Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Article, solely for the purpose of determining whether the victim is entitled to any right or benefit that...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-24-6.   Exceptions to the 120-hour survival requirement
    Survival by 120 hours is not required if any of the following apply: (1) The governing instrument contains language dealing explicitly with simultaneous deaths...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-24-7.   Evidence of death or status
    For purposes of this Article, the following rules of evidence apply relating to the determination of death and status of a beneficiary subject to...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-24-8.   Protection of payors, bona fide purchasers, and other third parties; personal liability of recipient
    (a) A payor or other third party is not liable for having made a payment or transferred an item of property or any other...

Article 25 - Small Estates.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-25-1.   Collection of property by affidavit when decedent dies intestate
    (a) When a decedent dies intestate leaving personal property, less liens and encumbrances thereon, not exceeding twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) in value, at any...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-25-1.1.   Collection of property by affidavit when decedent dies testate
    (a) When a decedent dies testate leaving personal property, less liens and encumbrances thereon, not exceeding twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) in value, at any...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-25-2.   Effect of affidavit
    The person paying, delivering, transferring or issuing personal property or the evidence thereof pursuant to an affidavit meeting the requirements of G.S. 28A-25-1(a) or...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-25-3.   Disbursement and distribution of property collected by affidavit
    (a) If there has been no personal representative or collector appointed by the clerk of superior court, the affiant who has collected personal property...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-25-4.   Clerk may compel compliance
    If any affiant who has collected personal property of the decedent by affidavit pursuant to G.S. 28A-25-1 or G.S. 28A-25-1.1 shall fail to make...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-25-5.   Subsequently appointed personal representative or collector
    Nothing in this Article shall preclude any interested person, including the affiant, from petitioning the clerk of superior court for the appointment of a...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-25-6.   Payment to clerk of money owed decedent
    (a) As an alternative to the small estate settlement procedures of this Article, any person indebted to a decedent may satisfy such indebtedness by...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-25-7.   Removal of tangible personal property by landlord after death of residential tenant
    (a) When a decedent who is the sole occupant of a dwelling unit dies leaving tangible personal property in the dwelling unit, the landlord...

Article 26 - Foreign Personal Representatives and Ancillary Administration.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-26-1.   Domiciliary and ancillary probate and administration
    The domiciliary, or original, administration of the estates of all decedents domiciled in North Carolina at the time of death shall be under the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-26-2.   Payment of debt and delivery of property to domiciliary personal representative of a nonresident decedent without ancillary administration in this State
    (a) At any time after the expiration of 60 days from the death of a nonresident decedent, any resident of this State indebted to...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-26-3.   Ancillary administration
    (a) Any domiciliary personal representative of a nonresident decedent upon the filing of a certified or exemplified copy of letters of appointment with the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-26-4.   Bonds
    (a) Subject to the exception in subsection (b), any personal representative, including a domiciliary personal representative, who is granted ancillary letters of administration in...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-26-5.   Authority of domiciliary personal representative of a nonresident decedent
    The domiciliary personal representative of the nonresident decedent after qualifying as ancillary personal representative in this State is authorized to administer the North Carolina...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-26-6.   Jurisdiction
    (a) A domiciliary personal representative of a nonresident decedent may invoke the jurisdiction of the courts of this State after qualifying as ancillary personal...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-26-7.   Service on personal representative of a nonresident decedent
    A court of this State having jurisdiction of the subject matter and grounds for personal jurisdiction as provided in G.S. 28A-26-6 may exercise personal...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-26-8.   Duties of personal representative in an ancillary administration
    (a) All assets of estates of nonresident decedents being administered in this State are subject to all claims, allowances and charges existing or established...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-26-9.   Remission of surplus assets by ancillary personal representative to domiciliary personal representative
    Unless a testator in a will otherwise directs, any assets (including proceeds from the sale of real estate) remaining after payment of claims against...

Article 27 - Apportionment of Federal Estate Tax.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-27-1.   Definitions
    For the purposes of this Article: (1) "Estate" means the gross estate of a decedent as determined for the purpose of the federal estate...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-27-2.   Apportionment
    (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, or in G.S. 28A-27-5, G.S. 28A-27-6, or G.S. 28A-27-8, the tax shall be...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-27-3.   Procedure for determining apportionment
    (a) The personal representative of a decedent shall determine the apportionment of the tax. (b) If the personal representative finds that it is inequitable...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-27-4.   Uncollected tax
    The personal representative shall not be under any duty to institute any suit or proceeding to recover from any person interested in the estate...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-27-5.   Exemptions, deductions, and credits
    (a) Any interest for which a deduction or exemption is allowed under the federal revenue laws in determining the value of the decedent's net...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-27-6.   No apportionment between temporary and remainder interests
    No interest in income and no estate for years or for life or other temporary interest in any property or fund is subject to...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-27-7.   Fiduciary's rights and duties
    (a) The personal representative may withhold from any property of the decedent in the personal representative's possession, distributable to any person interested in the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-27-8.   Difference with Federal Estate Tax Law
    If the liabilities of persons interested in the estate as prescribed by this Article differ from those which result under the Federal Estate Tax...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-27-9.   Effective date
    The provisions of this Article shall not apply to taxes due on account of the death of decedents dying prior to October 1, 1986....

Article 28 - Summary Administration.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-28-1.   Summary administration where spouse is sole beneficiary
    When a decedent dies testate or intestate leaving a surviving spouse as the sole devisee or heir, the surviving spouse may file a petition...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-28-2.   Petition
    (a) The petition shall be signed by the surviving spouse and verified to be accurate and complete to the best of the spouse's knowledge...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-28-3.   Clerk's order
    If it appears to the clerk that the petition and supporting evidence, if any, comply with the requirements of G.S. 28A-28-2 and on the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-28-4.   Effect of order
    (a) The presentation of a certified copy of the order described in G.S. 28A-28-3 shall be sufficient to require the transfer to the spouse...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-28-5.   Effect of payment
    The person paying, delivering, transferring, or issuing property or the evidence thereof pursuant to the order described in G.S. 28A-28-3 is discharged and released...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-28-6.   Spouse's assumption of liabilities
    If the clerk grants the order for summary administration, the spouse shall be deemed to have assumed, to the extent of the value of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-28-7.   Right to petition for appointment of personal representative; discharge of spouse's liability
    (a) Nothing in this Article shall preclude any person qualified to serve as personal representative pursuant to G.S. 28A-4-1, including the surviving spouse, from...

Article 29 - Notice to Creditors Without Estate Administration.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-29-1.   Notice to creditors without estate administration
    When (i) a decedent dies testate or intestate leaving no personal property subject to probate and no real property devised to the personal representative;...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-29-2.   Petition
    (a) The application for appointment as limited personal representative shall be in the form of an affidavit sworn to before an officer authorized to...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-29-3.   Effect of appointment
    A limited personal representative appointed under this Article shall provide notice to all persons, firms, and corporations having claims against the decedent, and proof...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-29-4.   Presentation, payment, and limitation of claims
    Upon compliance with G.S. 28A-29-3, creditors of the decedent and the decedent's property shall present claims in accordance with the provisions of Article 19...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-29-5.   Right to petition for appointment of personal representative
    Nothing in this Article shall preclude any person qualified to serve as personal representative pursuant to G.S. 28A-4-1, including the limited personal representative, from...

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Last modified: March 23, 2014