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Harnett County,
North Carolina

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Beginning the Estate Process


Documentation needed to begin the process of setting up an estate includes:

  • Original Last Will and Testament – if applicable
  • Decedent's Obituary
  • Copy of death certificate – This may be obtained from the Register of Deeds in the county in which decedent dies or from the funeral home.
  • Copy of funeral bill with receipts or other documentation indicating who made payments.
  • Name, age, and mailing addresses of heir(s) – spouse, living AND deceased children. If child(ren) is/are deceased, need same information on spouse and children of decedent.
  • Title(s) and/or registration card(s) to vehicle(s)

You will need to have knowledge of the decedent’s real and personal property and the values:

  • Bank account information – account numbers, balance in accounts, copy of signature cards (joint accounts also)
  • Stocks and bonds owned by decedent – values at time of death
  • Cash and/or uncashed checks on hand. – What is the value?
  • Value of household furnishings?
  • Value of farm products, livestock, equipment or tools?
  • Title(s)/registration card(s) to any vehicles/mobile homes or utility trailers - make, model, mileage and VIN# of each. What is the value? If loan is not paid in full, what is the equity in vehicle?
  • Interest in a partnership or sole proprietor business? What is the value?
  • Value of insurance policies, retirement plans, IRA payable to the estate?
  • Value of notes, judgments, and debts owed decedent?
  • Value of miscellaneous personal property (ie: gun collections, jewelry, doll collections, etc)?
  • Value of real estate willed to the estate?
  • Estimated annual income of estate?
  • Did decedent own real property in his/her name ONLY? If so, what is the fair market value?
  • Did decedent own real property with spouse before marriage? If so, what is ½ of the fair market value?
  • Did decedent own real property with someone other than the spouse? What is the value?
  • Had the decedent ever inherited any real property?
  • Did the decedent have utilities provided by a membership corporation, i.e. South River Electric Membership Corporation, Central Electric Membership Corporation, etc? If so, provide account number and amount of capital credit.

All items on this list will not pertain to every estate situation. If you have questions, you may contact us at:

Marsha Johnson, Clerk of Superior Court, (910) 814-4630,
Reneé StanleyWhittenton, Supervisor/Assistant Clerk, (910) 814-4646,
Daniel McNeill, Assistant Clerk, (910) 814-4638,
Whitney B. Huggins, Deputy Clerk, (910) 814-4614,

You can obtain additional forms at or

This office will assist you as much as possible. However, we are prevented from giving advice and answering legal questions. If you have legal questions, you must contact an attorney.

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