In Highland, Indiana, probate is the process in which a court validates or voids a will.
During probate, the court in Highland, Indiana will determine the validity of the will, distinguish and inventory the decedent's assets, account for the decedent's debts and back taxes, and distribute the decedent's property, among other things.
Wills normally name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Highland, Indiana court will appoint an executor. This is normally the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be valid.
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 Highland, Indiana
The executor has many duties concerning the will. First, they have to really initiate the probate proceedings, which must be finished before the will is effectuated.
They further are required to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, normally by filing a death certificate.
There may be several 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 hard to find, but they need to be found, nonetheless. To that end, the executor is obligated 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 show 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 Highland, Indiana Lawyer Help?
Because this can be (though isn't always) a fairly difficult process, it's a good idea to get a brilliant probate lawyer in Highland, Indiana, especially if you find yourself being the executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to proceed.