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Problem with Court Appointed Executor, PLS HELP North Carolina

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  • Problem with Court Appointed Executor, PLS HELP North Carolina

    My dad passed in North Carolina. My brother and I are named co-executors. My brother and I disagree on the verbiage of the will.

    The will reads article I My son (me) receives my home at this address along with all the contents thereof.

    Several articles later reads My son (brother) to receive all other real estate I own at the time of my death.

    There is 1 deed, 1 tax id number on the house and 60 acres of land dad left to me. There was no other real estate owed at the time of his death. I say their is one deed, the deed controls so the house and land are to me. Brother says the house means a reasonable 1 acre parcel (cartilage) around the house and he is to get the remaining 59 acres as "the other real estate" mentioned.

    Finally, I asked the court to appoint an executor because we can't agree.

    The court appointed attorney will NOT talk to me, only to an attorney if I hire one. I don't have the $ to hire an attorney, so I am trying to figure this myself.

    I was told as the executor I was responsible for maintaining the estate. The estate had no assets so I purchased gas to heat the house threw summer so the pipes won't bust, homeowners insurance for the house, electricity, etc and paid for this in my name. The clerk of court told us this would be considered an expense to maintain the property and I would be reimbursed threw the estate.

    The new attorney who is court executor sends a letter introducing herself, saying she is not yet bonded however she would like to start getting an idea of what expenses/debts etc. are involved in the estate and to forward to her immediately. I called, she would not talk with me, talked to scty explained I had bills, but I would have to search as I need to call to get receipts if needed as I only have a few receipts. Should I wait until I get the receipts or send what I know now? Scty talked to attorney executor who said she is not yet bonded, she just wants a feel, to just write down in a word document what the expenses are so she can review and follow up on getting the receipts for the future.

    I send the word document via fax to the court executor BEFORE the date she was actually bonded.

    Today I received a letter saying she denied my claim as it was not received within the 4 mth time line for submitting debts and there were no receipts or verification of the expense. I have 90 days to file a motion in court to appeal the decision.

    I do not understand, I did not feel I placed any claim based on our conversation. Also, the bills I acquired are not claims from debtors, they are expenses I incurred maintaining the estate as the Executor. Would I not submit these expenses as an Executor to maintain the property separately than creditors, and if so how do I go about doing so?

    What do I do? If I have to file this motion the clerk of court will not tell me the forms or what I have to do to file this paperwork, I am simply told to hire an attorney. I can't afford an attorney because I have my savings of $6,000 that I spent on maintaining the estate as I thought that was my obligation, now I have no money to pay an attorney.

    ps The court executor has petitioned the judge to sell the house to pay for outstanding debts to the estate. The question to judge was can I sell it, how can I sell it, do I sell the entire estate or just the house and not the land. If the house/land are all on one deed would the court still choose to split the house/land to sell for debts? How does the judge decide how to allocate the extra money after the debts have been paid?

    Should I have to hire an attorney or should the court appointed executor/clerk of courts be required to tell me what forms to fill out?

    Lastly, I am excited for the court to make a decision and settle this estate. However, if my brother is not happy with the court's decision does he have to accept the courts decision or can he contest/tie up the estate longer?

    I apologize for this being so long, I truly appreciate any and all help in sorting this situation out. Thank you in advance!

  • #2
    I really believe with all that is involved here, you do need an attorney to help you deal with it all & to help protect your interest in the estate.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


    • #3
      Your father's will does seem open to interpretation as it does not clearly state you will receive the home and all of the surrounding acreage. Off the cuff, it seems to me your brother has raised a debatable issue. You may want to contact the attorney who drafted your father's will to see what, if any, notes he/she has retained in the file. To the extent they support your position, you can ask the attorney to provide a declaration to the court on your behalf. Same thing goes for any family/friends who can speak to your dad's known wishes.

      As for the court-appointed executor, she does have a fiduciary duty to communicate with you and your brother, the beneficiaries of the estate, and keep you abreast of proceedings. She is not obligated to answer your calls nor is she obligated to advise you how to fill out court paperwork.

      My suggestion: It seems you have a lot at stake here. I recommend that you consult with a local attorney versed in estate and probate matters.
      Barry S. Phillips, CPA

      IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: This response is intended to provide general information and written for educational purposes only. It does not establish a client relationship. This communication is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to any party any matters addressed herein.


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