In Ottumwa, Iowa, probate is the process through which a Court decides if a will is valid or not.
As part of this procedure, the court in Ottumwa, Iowa has various important responsibilities. Most especially, it has to decide if the will is valid, and consider evidence that it is not (if any such evidence exists). The probate court then has to guarantee that the property is distributed in an orderly manner, as close to the terms of the will (assuming it is valid) as possible.
The executor of the estate is frequently named in the will. If not, the probate court in Ottumwa, Iowa will name will appoint a person to serve as executor. This is typically 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 incentive to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Ottumwa, Iowa
The executor has various duties with respect to the will. First, it is his or her job to actually initiate probate proceedings, which often must be finalized before the will is given effect.
They additionally are obligated to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, typically by filing a death certificate.
Executors are also obliged 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 typically 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 Ottumwa, Iowa Lawyer Help?
Because of the difficulties involved in probate, it would be a reliable idea to consult with and retain an Ottumwa, Iowa attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.