In Laguna Hills, California, probate is the process through which a Court determines if a will is valid or not.
As part of this process, the Laguna Hills, 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 unsuitable to serve in this capacity. In these cases, a Laguna Hills, California probate court has to appoint one.
The executor is the person who has to get the ball rolling on the probate process, and essentially serves as a living symbol 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 involved in. If an executor needs to be appointed, a court usually chooses the person who will inherit the most if the will is given effect, since that person will have the most inducement to carry out the duties of the executor.
Duties of the Executor in Laguna Hills, California
The executor has many duties concerning the will. First, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings, which must be finished before the will is effectuated.
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.
The executor will also have to compile 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.
As the representative of the estate, the executor has to take charge of the probate process, filing the necessary court papers, and, if necessary, hiring an attorney for help. If the estate is large, and the executor stands to inherit a great deal of money once this process is complete, they'll probably find it to be worth the time and expense.
How Can A Laguna Hills, California Lawyer Help?
Because of the complexities inherent in the probate process, it is a good idea to hire an experienced Laguna Hills, California probate lawyer, particularly for the executors of estates.