North Carolina law requires a personal representative of an estate to notify by publication all persons, firms, and corporations having claims against the deceased’s estate. Usually this means publishing notice in a newspaper with circulation in the county where the estate is opened. A personal representative would be wise to call the Clerk of Court in the proper county to confirm which publications are acceptable for publishing the notice prior to publishing. It is imperative that the personal representative arrange for the publication of notice as soon as possible after qualifying as executor or administrator.
The notice effectively gives all creditors of the estate three months to submit a claim for any valid debts owed to them. If a creditor fails to file a claim within the three month time period, the claim is barred. For this reason, the importance of publishing the notice as quickly as possible cannot be understated.
The personal representative should also notify all known creditors of the estate by sending the notice via mail. Notice should be mailed to known creditors as quickly as possible to prevent any extension of time beyond what is already required by law.
Providing notice to creditors of an estate is a vital part of the administration of any estate. A personal representative should hire a probate attorney to advise them through the process and make sure the notice is accurate and valid.