In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, probate is the process through which a Court decides if a will is valid or not.
In the probate process, a Tuscaloosa, 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.
Wills normally name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Tuscaloosa, Alabama court will appoint an executor. This is normally the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be legitimate.
The general duty of the executor is to serve as the living incarnation of the estate. Their job is to commence probate proceedings, and see them to completion. If an executor has to be appointed by the court, it will normally be the person who stands to inherit the most from the will, as he or she has an incentive to make every effort to avoid delay.
Duties of the Executor in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
The executor has many duties with respect to the will. First, it is his or her job to actually initiate probate proceedings, which often must be finalized before the will is given effect.
Furthermore, it's the executor's job to notify all affected parties that the person who made the will has died. "Interested parties" are typically people who are named in the will, or who would inherit the estate if the decedent had died without a will.
If the decedent was even reasonably well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have considerable amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with formulating an accurate accounting of the debts and assets of the estate, so as much of the decedent's debts can be paid off as possible.
Additionally, the executor is obligated to take a leading role in showing 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 Tuscaloosa, Alabama Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly difficult, it is not a bad idea to consult with a seasoned probate lawyer in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.