Mrs. Brooks — the end of the story

Probate in Gastonia, NC

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(Note: the following is a dramatization.)

As described earlier, Mrs. Brooks made out her will shortly after her husband’s death. It covered a substantial estate, which included money, stock portfolios, bonds, a house and several other properties. She left instructions for her funeral and set aside some money to pay for it.

As it turned out, she was one of the lucky ones. She lived into her late nineties and lived an independent and dignified life until the day she died. She passed away peacefully in her sleep, mercifully ignorant of the mess her children would have to go through in probate court.

Settling the estate

Mrs. Brooks had four children. By now, they were all retired themselves, and the son she had chosen as her executor was in poor health and not up to repeated appearances in a courtroom two hundred miles from his own home. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were scattered all over the country. But the probate process was to be carried out in the county where she had been living when she died, under the jurisdiction of the clerk of the superior court.

Given the substantial nature of her estate, there was no doubt that it would have to go through the probate process. The trouble was that her will had not been updated in well over ten years. This was going to make things more complicated. Her family just wanted to hold the funeral, get the estate sorted and get on with their lives, but the amount of money she had set aside for the funeral — which was one of the few parts of her estate that had been left in a checking account — was no longer enough to pay for all the costs.

Then there was the matter of outstanding taxes, the builder who had worked on her house earlier that year and was claiming payment… all things the family didn’t want to have to deal with. Fortunately, the attorney who had drawn up the will all those years ago was still in business. He gladly took on the task of seeing the estate through probate court, so they didn’t have to.

A probate attorney in Gastonia, NC

Whether you are an executor or a court-appointed personal representative in a probate case, you are going to want legal help from a probate attorney who understands the process and can deal with the paperwork. Robert C. Whitt is a Gastonia attorney, servicing the areas of Gastonia, Charlotte, Mount Holly and Gaston, Mecklenburg, Lincoln Counties and surrounding communities. He focuses on wills, trusts and other aspects of elder law, and can serve as a probate attorney. Call and make an appointment today.

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