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John Elder
John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
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Are estate planning expenses with an attorney prior to death

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Are estate planning expenses with an attorney prior to death allowable as "estate administrative costs" now that the individual has died? The invoice was submitted post-death, but the services were pre-death.

Welcome! Thank you for your question.

 

No, estate planning expenses incurred prior to death are not a priority claim as they would be if they were estate administration costs. They would fall back to a 9th class creditor in NC.

 

 

I cannot provide you with legal advise. I can provide you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you can find online, should not take the place of having a detailed consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.

 

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John

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Attorney wrote threatening letter that he would file an "objection" if not paid 1st priority. Estate is insolvent.

You can file a petition for the clerk to review and determine priority. Or just let the attorney file an objection. The clerk will then tell you how to pay it. Your best protection is to get the clerk to make the call.
John Elder and 3 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can you tell me the NC statute that states that so that I could reference it?

Lynn,

 

Here is the statute:

 

§ 28A-19-6. Order of payment of claims.

(a) After payment of costs and expenses of administration, the claims against the estate of a decedent must be paid in the following order:

First class. Claims which by law have a specific lien on property to an amount not exceeding the value of such property.

Second class. Funeral expenses to the extent of three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500). This limitation shall not include burial place or gravestone. The preferential limitation herein granted shall be construed to be only a limit with respect to preference of payment and shall not be construed to be a limitation on reasonable funeral expenses which may be incurred; nor shall the preferential limitation of payment in the amount of three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500) be diminished by any Veterans Administration, social security or other federal governmental benefits awarded to the estate of the decedent or to the decedent's beneficiaries.

Third class. Costs associated with gravestones and reasonable costs for the purchase of a suitable burial place as provided in G.S. 28A-19-9 to the extent of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500). The preferential limitation herein granted shall be construed to be only a limit with respect to preference of payment and shall not be construed to be a limitation on reasonable gravestone or burial place expenses which may be incurred; nor shall the preferential limitation of payment in the amount of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) be diminished by any Veterans Administration, social security or other federal governmental benefits awarded to the estate of the decedent or to the decedent's beneficiaries.

Fourth class. All dues, taxes, and other claims with preference under the laws of the United States.

Fifth class. All dues, taxes, and other claims with preference under the laws of the State of North Carolina and its subdivisions.

Sixth class. Judgments of any court of competent jurisdiction within the State, docketed and in force, to the extent to which they are a lien on the property of the decedent at the decedent's death.

Seventh class. Wages due to any employee employed by the decedent, which claim for wages shall not extend to a period of more than 12 months next preceding the death; or if such employee was employed for the year current at the decease, then from the time of such employment; for medical services within the 12 months preceding the decease; for drugs and all other medical supplies necessary for the treatment of such decedent during the last illness of such decedent, said period of last illness not to exceed 12 months.

Eighth class. A claim for equitable distribution.

Ninth class. All other claims.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, if payment of the commissions of the personal representative under G.S. 28A-23-3(g) would cause the estate to be unable to pay all claims against the estate of a decedent, then the commissions shall be limited to the amount allowed under G.S. 28A-23-3(a). (1868-9, c. 113, s. 24; Code, s. 1416; Rev., s. 87; C.S., s. 93; 1941, c. 271; 1955, c. 641, s. 1; 1967, c. 1066; 1973, c. 1329, s. 3; 1981, c. 383, ss. 1, 2; 1987, c. 286; 1995, c. 262, s. 8; 2005-180, s. 1; 2005-388, s. 2; 2009-288, s. 1; 2011-344, s. 4.)