Probate Attorney in Cotati, California
In Cotati, California, probate is the process through which a Court determines if a will is valid or not.
As part of this process, the Cotati, 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 Cotati, 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 usually appointed the executor, because they will have the most incitement to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Cotati, 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.
They also are required to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, usually by filing a death certificate.
If the decedent was even moderately well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have significant amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with creating 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.
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.
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How Can A Cotati, California Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly complicated, it is not a bad idea to consult with a good probate lawyer in Cotati, California, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.