In Rancho Mirage, California, probate is the process through which a Court determines if a will is valid or not.
As part of this process, the Rancho Mirage, 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 Rancho Mirage, 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 responsible for initiating the probate proceedings. The person who would inherit the most from the will is appointed, because they have the greatest incentive to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Rancho Mirage, California
The executor has many duties concerning the will. First, they have to really initiate the probate proceedings, which must be completed before the will is effectuated.
The executor also has to give those with a direct interest in the will notice that the decedent has died, by filing an official death certificate.
Because people who stand to inherit from the testator may be scattered around the country, or even the world, contacting them is sometimes difficult. 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.
Because the executor serves as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate, they are solely responsible for proving the validity of the will. This is a lot of work, but because executors are normally chosen based on how much they stand to inherit from a will once its validity is confirmed, they have a good incentive to see the process to completion.
How Can A Rancho Mirage, California Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly convoluted, it is not a bad idea to consult with a brilliant probate lawyer in Rancho Mirage, California, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.