In Clearwater, Florida, probate is the process through which a Court determines if a will is valid or not.
As part of the probate procedure, the court in Clearwater, Florida will determine the validity of the will, inventory the decedent's assets and debts, then, assuming everything is found to be in order, distribute the estate according to the will.
Most wills name a specific person as the executor of the estate, but sometimes they don't, or the named executor is dead, out of the court's jurisdiction, or otherwise unfit to serve in this capacity. In these cases, a Clearwater, Florida probate court has to appoint one.
The main duty of the executor is to serve as the living incarnation of the estate. Their job is to initiate probate proceedings, and see them to completion. If an executor has to be appointed by the court, it will typically be the person who stands to inherit the most from the will, as he or she has an incentive to make every effort to avoid delay.
Duties of the Executor in Clearwater, Florida
The executor has many duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings with the court, and this procedure has to be completed before the will takes effect.
Additionally, it's the executor's job to notify all interested parties that the person who made the will has died. "Interested parties" are usually people who are named in the will, or who would inherit the estate if the decedent had died without a will.
The executor will also have to collect and make available a list of all of the decedent's debts and assets, as well as a list of those who stand to inherit from the decedent.
As the representative of the estate, the executor has to take charge of the probate process, filing the proper court papers, and, if necessary, hiring an attorney for assistance. If the estate is large, and the executor stands to inherit a great deal of money once this process is done, they'll probably find it to be worth the time and expense.
How Can A Clearwater, Florida Lawyer Help?
Because of the difficulties involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a knowledgeable Clearwater, Florida probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.