Estate Information

Estate Information

For additional information regarding Wills and Estates in North Carolina, visit the following website of the North Carolina Judicial Branch. Below you will find a guide for working through the estate process, provided by the Rowan County Clerk of Superior Court Estate Division.

Clerk Of Court-Estates

Rowan County Clerk Of Court-Estates
Rowan County Courthouse
210 North Main Street • Salisbury, NC 28144
(704) 797-3001 option 4

Within 90 days of the date of death (should be done as soon as possible after the funeral), you will need to go to the Rowan County Courthouse to probate the will of the deceased and qualify as the executor of the estate. Take the will to the Clerk of Court- Estates office.

If the deceased did not leave a will, you should contact the Clerk of Court-Estates office to qualify as administrator of the estate. You might want to call the office to find out what information and paperwork you need to take with you.

You should be able to handle this responsibility on your own at the Clerk of Court-Estates office. If there is no will and the deceased had considerable property (land, houses, vehicles, campers, stocks, bonds, etc.), you might want to consider securing the services of an attorney. You may contact the North Carolina Bar Association for assistance in selecting an attorney. They can be contacted at (800) 662-7660.

Note: If the deceased was not a resident of Rowan County, you will need to contact the Clerk of Court in the appropriate county.



Checklist For Administration of An Estate

Please bring these items with you to the Court House.

The Original Last Will and Testament of the decedent.

If there is not a will, or the original cannot be found, seek legal assistance for the proper paperwork under the Intestate Laws of N.C. The Clerk of Court will retain the original Will and make one certified copy for your records. In N.C. Last Will and Testaments are not registered until after death and the family, or attorney, or person who was in possession of the Will, bring it in for Probate.

Death Certificate

Please bring a certified Death Certificate and we will make a copy for our records. Death Certificates are recorded at the Register of Deeds, in the County which the person died. The Rowan County Register of Deeds is located at 402 N. Main Street, Rowan County Building, 1st floor. 704-216-8626.

Bank Accounts

Accounts include; Certificate of Deposit, Checking, Savings, Money Markets, IRA..etc. You will need a copy of the signature card, the legal contract signed when the Account was opened, denoting ownership of the Account. Ownership can be INDIVIDUAL or JOINT. Joint Right of Survivorship accounts can be closed by the joint owner with a death certificate and no estate paperwork will be needed. If the account is individual, or joint w/out right of survivorship then you will need to know the account number, account balance on the date of the decedents’ death, and if joint the name of the owners. Some accounts will have a beneficiary listed on the signature card and those accounts can be released with a death certificate to the named beneficiary.


Including; cars, trucks, trailers, boats, boat trailers, mobile homes, motorcycles, etc...anything that has a title. If the deceased name appears on the title or registration card for any vehicle, whether it is individual or joint you will need estate paperwork for DMV to release the title. You will need to know a value for each vehicle and the VIN # of each vehicle. The VIN # is found on the title or registration card. The value can be located through the Rowan County Tax Assessor’s office, at 402 N. Main Street, Rowan County Building, 2nd floor, 704-216-8558, or you can use an appraised value or blue book value.

Stocks and Bonds

If the decedent has stocks in his/her name or joint, you will need to know the the name of the Stock, the value of the stock (what it was trading for on the date of decedents’ death), and how many shares were owned by the decedent. If jointly owned you will need to know if the stock is Right of Survivorship or other type of ownership. Information for Bonds will be the same. Please bring the funeral statement, showing payment, or balance due.

Real Estate

Includes: House, Land, Cemetery Plots, Condos, Timeshares If the deceased owned an interest in real estate in Rowan County or elsewhere please obtain information or a copy of the deed showing ownership. You can get the value thru the Tax Assessor’s office or use a current appraisal. If the decedent owned real estate outside Rowan County you will need to record a copy of the probate in that County. If the decedent owns property outside of North Carolina, please seek legal advice.

Checks Due To Decedent

Advise this office if you are expecting a check to come payable to the deceased or have already received a check payable to the deceased because you will need authorization to cash or deposit this check.

Life Insurance

Check with each company for beneficiary designations, if so the policy can be released to the beneficiary with a death certificate. If no beneficiary, then it will become part of the estate and you will need to know the policy name, number, and amount of policy. Certain forms will require you to give a total of the amount of life insurance.

The office hours of the Rowan County Clerk of Court-Estate Division are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday thru Friday. No appointments are necessary for qualifications or first visits. Appointments are made for accounts only after the estate is open. Most paperwork takes at least 30 minutes so please be in consideration of our hours and arrive before 4:30 pm. The courthouse closes promptly at 5:00 pm.