North Carolina covers the duties for executors in Chapter 28A of the state statutes. Executors are responsible for settling the deceased's debts, paying any taxes the estate or the deceased owes and distributing the estate assets to heirs. The job involves a number of deadlines. The final accounting is usually due within a year after the executor is appointed.
The executor can't act until the probate court approves her appointment. Within three months of her appointment, the executor must give the probate court an inventory of the estate's finances. The inventory identifies all property and assets of the estate at the time of death.
The executor has to file an income tax return for the year the deceased died. If the estate is large enough, she also has to file federal and North Carolina estate tax returns. The state and federal estate tax returns are due within nine months of the death date.
The final accounting wraps up the estate by showing how the executor managed and distributed the property. The executor can do this any time after all the creditors' claims have been settled. If the executor can't present a final accounting within a year, she has to request a year's extension. If the court grants the extension, the executor must file an annual accounting at the 12-month mark. She then has 12 months to file the final accounting.