§ 28A-23-1. Settlement after final account filed.
When the personal representative or collector has paid or otherwise satisfied or provided for all claims against the estate, has distributed the remainder of the estate pursuant to G.S. 28A-22-1 and has filed the personal representative's or collector's final account for settlement pursuant to G.S. 28A-21-2, if the clerk of superior court, after review of the personal representative's or collector's final account, approves the same, the clerk of superior court shall enter an order discharging the personal representative or collector from further duties and liabilities as personal representative or collector, including those set forth in Article 13 of this Chapter. However, that such an order shall not include a release or discharge of liability for any breach of duty set forth in G.S. 28A-13-10(c). (1973, c. 1329, s. 3; 1977, c. 446, s. 1; 2011-344, s. 4.)
§ 28A-23-2. Payment into court of fund due minor.
When any personal representative or collector holds property due a minor without a guardian and desires to file the personal representative's or collector's petition for settlement, the personal representative or collector may deliver the property to the clerk of superior court who shall invest upon interest or otherwise manage said property for the use of the minor or the clerk may proceed to appoint a guardian for the minor pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 35A of the General Statutes and then may deliver the property of the minor to the guardian. (1868-9, c. 113, s. 97; Code, s. 1526; 1893, c. 317; Rev., s. 151; C.S., s. 153; 1965, c. 815, s. 3; 1973, c. 1329, s. 3; 1987, c. 550, s. 17; 2011-344, s. 4.)
§ 28A-23-3. Commissions allowed personal representatives; representatives guilty of misconduct or default.
(a) Personal representatives, collectors or public administrators shall be entitled to commissions to be fixed in the discretion of the clerk of superior court not to exceed five percent (5%) upon the amounts of receipts, including the value of all personal property when received, and upon the expenditures made in accordance with law. In determining the maximum commissions allowable under this subsection, the clerk of superior court may take into consideration fees paid by the estate for professional services performed in the ordinary course of administering the estate, including services performed by attorneys and accountants. However, the clerk is not required to reduce the maximum commissions allowed by the aggregate fees paid to professionals on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
The commissions shall be charged as a part of the costs of administration and, upon allowance, may be retained out of the assets of the estate against creditors and all other persons claiming an interest in the estate. If the gross value of an estate is two thousand dollars ($2,000) or less, the clerk of superior court may fix the commission to be received by the personal representative, collector or public administrator in an amount the clerk of superior court, in the clerk's discretion, deems just and adequate.
(b) In determining the amount of the commissions, both upon personal property received and upon expenditures made, the clerk of superior court shall consider the time, responsibility, trouble and skill involved in the management of the estate. Where real property is sold to pay debts or devises, the commission shall be computed only on the proceeds actually applied in the payment of debts or devises.
(c) The clerk of superior court may allow commissions from time to time during the course of the administration, but the total commissions allowed shall be determined on final settlement of the estate and shall not exceed the limit fixed in this section.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to:
(1) Prevent the clerk of superior court from allowing reasonable sums for necessary charges and disbursements incurred in the management of the estate.
(2) Allow commissions on distribution of the shares of heirs or on distribution of shares of devisees.
(3) Abridge the right of any party interested in the administration of a decedent's estate to appeal an order of the clerk of superior court to a judge of superior court.
(e) No personal representative, collector or public administrator, who has been guilty of default or misconduct in the due execution of the personal representative's, collector's, or public administrator's office resulting in the revocation of the appointment of the personal representative, collector, or public administrator under the provisions of G.S. 28A-9-1, shall be entitled to any commission under the provisions of this section.
(f) For the purpose of computing commissions whenever any portion of the dividends, interest, rents or other amounts payable to a personal representative, collector or public administrator is required by any law of the United States or other governmental unit to be withheld for income tax purposes by the person, corporation, organization or governmental unit paying the same, the amount withheld shall be deemed to have been received and expended.
(g) Subsection (a) of this section does not apply if the testator's will specifies a stipulated amount or method or standard for determining the compensation for the services rendered by the personal representative, including a provision in the will that the compensation of the personal representative is to be determined by applying the personal representative's regularly adopted schedule of compensation in effect at the time of performance of those services. Subsection (a) of this section also shall not apply if the testator's will provides that the personal representative is to receive "reasonable compensation" for those services or similar language to that effect if the personal representative and the beneficiaries whose shares would be charged with the payment of the personal representative's compensation consent in writing to the specific amount that constitutes reasonable compensation.
(h) Subsection (a) of this section shall apply if the testator's will provides that compensation of the personal representative shall be the amount "as provided by law," the "maximum amount provided by law," or other similar language. (1868-9, c. 113, s. 95; 1869-70, c. 189; Code, s. 1524; Rev., s. 149; C.S., s. 157; 1941, c. 124; 1953, c. 855; 1959, c. 662; c. 879, s. 8; 1961, cc. 362, 575; 1973, c. 1329, s. 3; 1977, c. 814, s. 2; 2005-388, s. 1; 2011-284, s. 20; 2011-344, s. 4.)
§ 28A-23-4. Counsel fees allowable to attorneys serving as representatives.
The clerk of superior court, in the discretion of the clerk of superior court, is authorized and empowered to allow counsel fees to an attorney serving as a personal representative, collector or public administrator (in addition to the commissions allowed the attorney as such representative, collector or public administrator) where such attorney in behalf of the estate the attorney represents renders professional services, as an attorney, which are beyond the ordinary routine of administration and of a type which would reasonably justify the retention of legal counsel by any such representative, collector or public administrator not licensed to practice law. (1957, c. 375; 1973, c. 1329, s. 3; 1977, c. 814, s. 3; 2011-344, s. 4.)
§ 28A-23-5. Reopening administration.
If, after an estate has been settled and the personal representative discharged, other property of the estate shall be discovered, or if it shall appear that any necessary act remains unperformed on the part of the personal representative, or for any other proper cause, the clerk of superior court, upon the petition of any person interested in the estate and without notice or upon such notice as the clerk of superior court may direct, may order that said estate be reopened. The clerk of superior court may reappoint the personal representative or appoint another personal representative to administer such property or perform such acts as may be deemed necessary. Unless the clerk of superior court shall otherwise order, the provisions of this Chapter as to an original administration shall apply to the proceedings had in the reopened administration; but no claim which is already barred can be asserted in the reopened administration. (1973, c. 1329, s. 3; 2011-344, s. 4.)