In Washington, Iowa, probate is the process through which a Court determines if a will is valid or not.
As part of this procedure, the court in Washington, Iowa has various important responsibilities. Most importantly, 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 ensure 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 Washington, 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.
Because the executor is responsible for truly initiating probate proceedings and seeing them to completion, the person chosen for this role is often the one who stands to inherit the most from the will - giving them an incentive to put in the necessary time and effort.
Duties of the Executor in Washington, 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 completed before the will is given effect.
Executors must also alert anyone with an interest in the will of the death of the decedent. Persons 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 challenging to find, but they need to be found, nonetheless. To that end, the executor is obliged 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 establish 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 Washington, Iowa Lawyer Help?
Because of the difficulties involved in probate, it would be a knowledgeable idea to consult with and retain a Washington, Iowa attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.