In Opelousas, Louisiana, probate is the process in which a court validates or voids a will.
As part of this process, the Opelousas, Louisiana probate court will determine the validity of the will, inventory the decedent's assets and debts, and then, finally, distribute the estate according to the will, assuming it is found to be valid.
Wills frequently name a person as the executor of the estate. If not, the court in Opelousas, Louisiana will name one. This is most often the adult individual who stands to inherit the most money or property from 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 Opelousas, Louisiana
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.
Additionally, the executor has to make sure that the decedent's relatives and other people named in the will have notice of the testator's death, typically through the filing of a copy of the official death certificate.
Because people who stand to inherit from the testator may be scattered around the country, or even the world, contacting them is sometimes difficult. One of the responsibilities of the executor is to collect a list of everyone who is entitled to inherit from the decedent, so attempts to contact them can be made. They additionally have to account for all the testator's debts and assets.
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 Opelousas, Louisiana Lawyer Help?
Because of the difficulties involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a knowledgeable Opelousas, Louisiana probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.