In Pratt, Kansas, probate is the procedure in which a court validates or voids a will.
As part of this procedure, the Pratt, Kansas probate court will decide the validity of the will, inventory the decedent's assets and debts, and then, lastly, distribute the estate according to the will, assuming it is deemed to be valid.
Typically, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in Pratt, Kansas will assign an administrator to serve the role as the executor. This is typically the closest adult relative of the decedent, or the person who stands to inherit the most.
Because the executor is responsible for truly initiating probate proceedings and seeing them to finalization, 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 Pratt, Kansas
The executor has various duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate hearings with the court, and this procedure has to be finalized before the will takes effect.
Additionally, it's the executor's job to notify all affected parties that the person who made the will has died. "Interested parties" are usually people who are named in the will, or who would inherit the estate if the decedent had died without a will.
If the decedent was even reasonably well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have substantial amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with drafting an accurate accounting of the debts and assets of the estate, so as much of the decedent's debts can be paid off as possible.
Moreover, the executor is obliged to take a leading role in establishing the validity of the will. The executor obviously has an incentive to see the process through, since they cannot inherit until probate is complete.
How Can A Pratt, Kansas Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly confusing, it is not a bad idea to consult with a reliable probate lawyer in Pratt, Kansas, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.