Estate Procedural Guide
This is a general guide of steps to follow AFTER an estate has been opened in Harnett County.
- Obtain an Estate Tax ID number – there is no cost for this.
- Obtain copies of signature card(s) from all financial institutions held JTWROS, POD or beneficiary designation.
- Open an estate checking account.
- Notify the bank - you MUST have copies of cancelled checks with your statement.
- NO DEBIT CARDS - NO CHECKS WRITTEN TO CASH - NO CREDIT LINES
- Only administrative cost and bills the decedent owed can be paid from the estate checking account. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please seek the advice of an attorney.
- Run a Notice to Creditors in Dunn Daily Record. Runs once a week for four weeks.
- This Notice must be mailed to anyone to whom the decedent owed a debt.
- Read the Estate booklet provided by our office.
Within 60-90 days, you are required to file your inventory on the estate and provide:
- Completed Inventory form (AOC-E-505)
- Copy of required signature card(s)
- Court fees
Within one year of qualification, you must file an annual/final account. To file your annual/final account, you MUST bring in ALL the following documentation:
- Completed Affidavit of Notice to Creditors form (AOC-E-307)
- Completed Final/Annual Account form (AOC-E-506)
- All estate financial statements (checking, savings, annuities, CD’s, etc.)
- If you are filing a FINAL account, you must include the last statement with a zero ($0.00) balance.
- All cancelled checks from estate accounts.
- Bills and receipts for each disbursement on Final/Annual Account form, if the bank cannot provide you a cancelled check for this item.
- Release of claim for all claims filed with our office.
- Receipt Acknowledgement forms from heirs signed and notarized.
- Copy of paid funeral bill or receipt indicating paid in full.
- If court fees were not paid in full at inventory, you will need to pay additional fees.
If you have not made your filing by the date indicated above, you will be mailed a Notice to file which allows you 30 days from the date on the notice to file. If you need an extension of time, you should contact our office and make a request. If you do not file within the time allotted, you will be served with court orders by the Sheriff of your county. You can be held in contempt of court and placed in the county jail until compliance of the court order. Any service fees that arise from these orders are at your own personal cost and cannot be paid from the estate. Service fees are $30 per Order.
As always, if you need assistance, you may contact us at any time; however, please remember we are prohibited from giving legal advice. We can assist you with the basic information provided in the Estate Procedure Manual and on proper and timely completion of forms. If you need legal advice or help completing these forms, you must seek assistance from someone outside of this office. Visiting an Estate attorney is always recommended.