In Cullman, Alabama, probate is the process through which a Court decides if a will is valid or not.
In the probate process, a Cullman, Alabama probate court has many duties, including ruling on a will's validity, making an inventory of the estate's assets, and making note of all the decedent's debts. Once the will is decided to be valid, the court will distribute the property according to its clauses.
The executor of the estate is often named in the will. If not, the probate court in Cullman, Alabama will name will appoint a person to serve as executor. This is normally the person who stands to inherit the most under the will.
Because the executor is responsible for really initiating probate proceedings and seeing them to finalization, the person chosen for this role is often the one who stands to inherit the most from the will - giving them an incentive to put in the necessary time and effort.
Duties of the Executor in Cullman, Alabama
The executor has numerous duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate hearings with the court, and this procedure has to be done before the will takes effect.
Executors must also notify anyone with an interest in the will of the death of the decedent. Individuals with an interest in the outcome of probate are those who are named in the will, or anyone who would likely inherit if the will is invalidated (close relatives, for the most part).
The executor will also have to gather and make accessible a list of all of the decedent's debts and assets, as well as a list of those who stand to inherit from the decedent.
Additionally, the executor is obligated to take the lead in showing the validity of the will, effectively acting as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate. The executor is normally the person who will inherit the most once the will goes through probate, so they have a good reason to put in the work to do this.
How Can A Cullman, Alabama Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a seasoned Cullman, Alabama probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.