In Citrus Heights, California, probate is the process through which a Court determines if a will is valid or not.
As part of this process, the Citrus Heights, California probate court will determine the validity of the will, inventory the decedent's assets and debts, and then, finally, distribute the estate according to the will, assuming it is found to be valid.
Most wills name a specific person as the executor of the estate, but sometimes they don't, or the named executor is dead, out of the court's jurisdiction, or otherwise unfit to serve in this capacity. In these cases, a Citrus Heights, California probate court has to appoint one.
The executor is the person who initiates probate proceedings. The person who stands to inherit the most from the will is typically appointed the executor, because they will have the most motivation to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Citrus Heights, California
The executor has many duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings with the court, and this procedure has to be completed before the will takes effect.
Executors must also alert anyone with an interest in the will of the death of the decedent. Persons 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 collect and make available 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.
Moreover, the executor is required to take the lead in establishing the validity of the will, effectively acting as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate. The executor is typically 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 Citrus Heights, California Lawyer Help?
Because of the difficulties involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a knowledgeable Citrus Heights, California probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.