In Oakland, California, probate is the process through which a Court determines if a will is valid or not.
As part of this process, the Oakland, 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.
Wills normally name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Oakland, California 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 initiates probate proceedings. The person who stands to inherit the most from the will is normally appointed the executor, because they will have the most reason to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Oakland, California
The executor has several duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings with the court, and this procedure has to be finished before the will takes effect.
Furthermore, it's the executor's job to notify all involved 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 somewhat 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 Oakland, California Lawyer Help?
Because this can be (though isn't always) a fairly difficult process, it's a good idea to get a brilliant probate lawyer in Oakland, California, especially if you find yourself being the executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to proceed.