In West Miami, 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 West Miami, 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.
The executor of the estate is often named in the will. If not, the probate court in West Miami, Florida will name will appoint a person to serve as executor. This is normally the person who stands to inherit the most under the will.
The executor is the person who has to get the ball rolling on the probate process, and essentially serves as a living symbol of the decedent's estate. It is their job to defend the estate from debtors (if a legitimate defense for the debt exists, of course), and wind up any legal proceedings that the decedent might have been immersed in. If an executor needs to be appointed, a court normally chooses the person who will inherit the most if the will is given effect, since that person will have the most motivation to carry out the duties of the executor.
Duties of the Executor in West Miami, Florida
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.
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.
Executors are also obligated to make available an accounting of the testator's debts and assets, so their affairs can be wound up, along with a list of everyone who is named in the will, or otherwise stands to inherit.
Additionally, the executor is required to take the lead in showing the validity of the will, effectively acting as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate. The executor is normally 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 West Miami, Florida Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies involved in probate, it would be a brilliant idea to consult with and retain a West Miami, Florida attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.