In Ojai, California, probate is the process through which a Court decides if a will is valid or not.
As part of this procedure, the Ojai, California probate court will decide the validity of the will, inventory the decedent's assets and debts, and then, lastly, distribute the estate according to the will, assuming it is deemed to be valid.
Wills normally name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Ojai, California court will appoint an executor. This is normally the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be legitimate.
The executor is the individual 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 Ojai, California
The executor has various duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate hearings with the court, and this procedure has to be finalized before the will takes effect.
Furthermore, it's the executor's job to notify all affected 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 challenging. 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 Ojai, California Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a seasoned Ojai, California probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.