In Sausalito, California, probate is the process through which a Court decides if a will is valid or not.
As part of this procedure, the Sausalito, 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 usually name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Sausalito, California court will appoint an executor. This is usually the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be legitimate.
The executor is the person accountable for initiating the probate proceedings. The person who would inherit the most from the will is appointed, because they have the greatest reason to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Sausalito, 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.
They also are obligated to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, usually by filing a death certificate.
Executors are also required to make accessible an accounting of the testator's debts and assets, so their affairs can be wound up, along with a list of everybody who is named in the will, or otherwise stands to inherit.
Because the executor serves as the living representation of the decedent's estate, they are solely accountable for proving the validity of the will. This is a lot of work, but because executors are usually 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 finalization.
How Can A Sausalito, California Lawyer Help?
Because this can be (though isn't always) a fairly perplexing process, it's a good idea to get a reputable probate lawyer in Sausalito, California, especially if you find yourself being the executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to proceed.