While things have generally slowed down during this pandemic, the Courts have remained open to certain departments that simply cannot be put on hold. Two of these include:
(1) Estates – this is where Probate Estates are administered, Spousal Allowance applications are processed and other similar matters. Probate is the court-supervised legal process that gives someone (executor or administrator) the authority to administer an estate. Administering the estate includes gathering the assets of the deceased person, paying the taxes and final bills and at the end distributing any remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the Will or set out by statute. Whether a person dies with or without a will, probate is the only way to get assets out of the deceased person’s name and distribute them.
(2) Special Proceedings – this is where Guardianships are established and administered. Even during tough times such as this, and perhaps even more so, the elderly need assistance making decisions. The Courts are still accepting Applications for the Adjudication of Incompetency and Application for the Appointment of a guardian. Guardianships are also established for special needs young adults as they turn 18 and need assistance in applying for public benefits programs. Guardianships may be appropriate for any Individual who does not have the capacity to make and communicate important decisions about his or her personal and financial affairs and may require the assistance of a legally appointed guardian to help them exercise their rights. The guardian must allow the individual the opportunity to participate, as fully as possible, in all decisions affecting them.
(3) The Courts also remain open to address and issue Domestic Violence Protective Orders.
Although the Courts remain open for the above legal actions (and a few others), the processes are generally moving slower so patience is required. County by county different restrictions are being imposed. Mecklenburg currently has more restrictions than Guilford County so more time will be needed to process filings.
If you need assistance with an Estate, Guardianship or Domestic Violence matter, give the attorneys at Law Firm Carolinas a call.