What is Probate and How Does it Work in North Carolina?

Probate is the process whereby the Court supervises the transferring of assets from the deceased to the deceased’s beneficiaries if there is a Will (or if there is no Will, then in accordance with North Carolina law).  However, certain assets do not go through probate as how they are titled already dictates who they go to upon the death of the owner. Examples of assets that do not have to go through probate for this reason include:

  • Property owned by husband and wife as “Tenants by the Entireties.”
  • Property owned by individuals as “joint tenants with right of survivorship.”
  • Retirement accounts, financial accounts, and life insurance policies with proper beneficiary designations.
  • Bank accounts that are “payable on death” aka “POD,” or “transferable on death” aka “TOD.”
  • Property owned by a Revocable Living Trust.