In Spanish Fort, Alabama, probate is the process through which a Court determines if a will is valid or not.
In the probate process, a Spanish Fort, Alabama probate court has several 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 determined to be valid, the court will distribute the property according to its terms.
Wills usually name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Spanish Fort, Alabama court will appoint an executor. This is usually the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be valid.
The executor is the person who initiates probate proceedings. The person who stands to inherit the most from the will is usually appointed the executor, because they will have the most incentive to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Spanish Fort, Alabama
The executor has several duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings with the court, and this procedure has to be finished before the will takes effect.
Executors must also inform anyone with an interest in the will of the death of the decedent. People 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).
Executors are also required to make available an accounting of the testator's debts and assets, so their affairs can be wound up, along with a list of everyone who is named in the will, or otherwise stands to inherit.
Furthermore, the executor is required to take a leading role in proving the validity of the will. The executor obviously has an incentive to see the process through, since they cannot inherit until probate is complete.
How Can A Spanish Fort, Alabama Lawyer Help?
Because of the complexities inherent in the probate process, it is a good idea to hire an experienced Spanish Fort, Alabama probate lawyer, particularly for the executors of estates.