In El Paso County, Colorado, probate is the process through which a Court determines if a will is valid or not.
As part of this process, the El Paso County, Colorado 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 commonly name a person as the executor of the estate. If not, the court in El Paso County, Colorado will name one. This is most often the adult individual who stands to inherit the most money or property from the will.
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 motivation to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in El Paso County, Colorado
There are quite a few things that an executor is responsible for. At the outset, they are required to file the probate action with the appropriate court. No progress, let alone any final disposition of the estate, can be made until this happens.
Executors must also notify anyone with an interest in the will of the death of the decedent. Individuals with an interest in the outcome of probate are those who are named in the will, or anyone who would likely inherit if the will is invalidated (close relatives, for the most part).
There may be many people who are entitled to take under a testator's will, with which the testator may have fallout out of touch years ago. This can make them hard to find, but they need to be found, nonetheless. To that end, the executor is obligated to make a list of everyone who might be able to inherit, whether they're named in the will, or closely related to the testator. Additionally, they have to make known all of the decedent's major assets and debts.
Finally, executors have to actually put forth the effort to show that a will is valid. As the sole legal representative of the estate, this is their job, and is required for them to inherit, giving them an incentive.
How Can A El Paso County, Colorado Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies involved in probate, it would be a brilliant idea to consult with and retain an El Paso County, Colorado attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.