In Little Rock, Arkansas, probate is the process through which a Court determines if a will is valid or not.
In the probate process, a Little Rock, Arkansas 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 determined to be valid, the court will distribute the property according to its terms.
Wills normally name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Little Rock, Arkansas court will appoint an executor. This is normally the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be valid.
The executor is the person who has to get the ball rolling on the probate process, and essentially serves as a living embodiment of the decedent's estate. It is their job to defend the estate from debtors (if a legitimate defense for the debt exists, of course), and wind up any legal proceedings that the decedent might have been immersed in. If an executor needs to be appointed, a court normally chooses the person who will inherit the most if the will is given effect, since that person will have the most reason to carry out the duties of the executor.
Duties of the Executor in Little Rock, Arkansas
The executor has many duties concerning the will. First, they have to really initiate the probate proceedings, which must be completed before the will is effectuated.
Furthermore, it's the executor's job to notify all interested 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.
Because people who stand to inherit from the testator may be scattered around the country, or even the world, contacting them is sometimes difficult. One of the responsibilities of the executor is to gather a list of everyone who is entitled to inherit from the decedent, so attempts to contact them can be made. They further have to account for all the testator's debts and assets.
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 Little Rock, Arkansas Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly convoluted, it is not a bad idea to consult with a brilliant probate lawyer in Little Rock, Arkansas, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.