In New Smyrna Beach, Florida, probate is the process through which a Court decides if a will is valid or not.
As part of the probate procedure, the court in New Smyrna Beach, Florida will decide the validity of the will, inventory the decedent's assets and debts, then, assuming everything is deemed to be in order, distribute the estate according to the will.
The executor of the estate is commonly named in the will. If not, the probate court in New Smyrna Beach, Florida will name will appoint a person to serve as executor. This is usually the person who stands to inherit the most under the will.
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 motivation to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in New Smyrna Beach, Florida
The executor has several duties with respect to the will. First, it is his or her job to actually initiate probate proceedings, which often must be done before the will is given effect.
Executors must also inform anyone with an interest in the will of the death of the decedent. People 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 numerous 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 difficult to find, but they need to be found, nonetheless. To that end, the executor is required 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. Furthermore, they have to make known all of the decedent's major assets and debts.
Furthermore, the executor is obligated to take the lead in proving the validity of the will, effectively acting as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate. The executor is usually the person who will inherit the most once the will goes through probate, so they have a good reason to put in the work to do this.
How Can A New Smyrna Beach, Florida Lawyer Help?
Because of the complexities involved in probate, it would be a reputable idea to consult with and retain a New Smyrna Beach, Florida attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.