An executor is the person who is named in the will and appointed by the probate court to settle a decedent’s estate. Relatives, close friends, and trusted advisors are usually selected to serve as executor and perform a number of important duties. The list below is offered only as general guidance of some of the duties that an executor may perform when settling an estate in North Carolina.

  • Locate the will
  • Schedule a family conference
  • Gather information about the decedent and his or her assets
  • Consider hiring professional advisors to assist with settlement
  • Probate the will and apply for Letters Testamentary with the Clerk of Court
  • Prepare and publish the Notice to Creditors
  • Obtain the estate’s tax identification number
  • Open the estate’s bank account and keep detailed records of all account activity
  • Locate, marshal, and secure estate assets
  • File the Inventory with the Clerk of Court
  • Identify all debts of the decedent and decide whether to pay or reject each claim
  • Disburse funds to pay debts and administrative expenses
  • File tax forms and pay taxes due
  • File the estate’s annual account with the Clerk of Court
  • Distribute assets to the estate’s beneficiaries and obtain receipts from beneficiaries
  • File the estate’s final account with the Clerk of Court

Bear in mind that strict deadlines apply to the items above. Also, even a seemingly “simple” estate can take approximately one year to settle properly. For more information on serving as an executor in North Carolina and to discuss your specific circumstances, please contact our office today at (704) 887-4944 or to schedule a consultation.

Starrett Law Firm is a Charlotte estate planning, probate, and business law firm in Ballantyne that serves clients across the greater Charlotte area and North Carolina. We help clients understand complex legal principles and make sound decisions that protect them as well as their families or businesses. For more information about the firm, please visit our website at

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