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Estate Administration & Probate

Incompetency & Guardianships

Estate Planning



Estate Administration & Probate Law


Estate administration is the legal process required to settle the affairs of a deceased person.  In North Carolina, the Clerk of Superior Court is the Probate Judge.  The Clerk appoints a Personal Representative to administer the deceased’s property, pay the final bills, satisfy the claims against the estate, and distribute the deceased’s property to the heirs.  The law requires the Personal Representative to follow strict laws and procedures in the administration of the estate.  In some estates, it may be necessary for the Personal Representative to participate in hearings before the Clerk.  The attorneys at Garlock & McKinney have many years of experience working with clients in successfully navigating the estate administration process.

Incompetency & Guardianship Law


Guardianship law is the area of law governing the legal process for determining whether an adult lacks the capacity to make and communicate decisions regarding the person’s own healthcare, personal needs, and property.  It also applies to minor children under the age of 18.  The determination of incompetence in North Carolina requires a hearing before the Clerk of Court.  Victor C. Garlock, Senior Partner of Garlock & McKinney, is the Public Guardian in Buncombe County.  The Court appoints him as guardian of the estate for many adults whom the Court determines are legally incapable of managing their own finances.  The attorneys at Garlock & McKinney have many years of experience representing clients in guardianship and incompetency matters.  We also offer continuing legal services to guardians after their appointment to ensure compliance with the annual accounting requirements to the Court throughout the incompetent adult's lifetime.

Estate Planning


The estate planning services we offer include drafting Last Wills and Testaments, Durable Powers of Attorney, Health Care Powers of Attorney, and Trusts, including Special Needs Trusts for disabled individuals.  The attorneys and staff of Garlock & McKinney have many years of experience providing estate planning services to clients.  We offer specifically tailored planning to meet our clients' needs.  The Partners, Victor C. Garlock and Mariah D. McKinney, will serve upon request as Executor named in the Last Will, Trustee of a Trust, and Financial Agent in a Durable Power of Attorney. 

Old Documents

Trust Administration & Trustee Representation

A Trustee has extraordinary responsibilities to ensure the proper administration of the trust.  We offer advice and support to Trustees to give them confidence in fulfilling their role.  Partners, Victor C. Garlock and Mariah D. McKinney, are available upon request to serve as Trustee and Successor Trustee.  Also, they provide fiduciary support services to Trustees through Fidelicare, Inc.  To learn more about the services offered by Fidelicare, click here to visit

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