In Great Barrington, Massachusetts, probate is the procedure in which a court validates or voids a will.
As part of the probate procedure, the court in Great Barrington, Massachusetts will decide the validity of the will, inventory the decedent's assets and debts, then, assuming everything is deemed to be in order, distribute the estate according to the will.
Usually, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in Great Barrington, Massachusetts will assign an administrator to serve the role as the executor. This is usually the closest adult relative of the decedent, or the person who stands to inherit the most.
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 reason to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Great Barrington, Massachusetts
The executor has numerous duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate hearings with the court, and this procedure has to be done before the will takes effect.
They also are obligated to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, usually by filing a death certificate.
If the decedent was even slightly well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have significant amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with creating 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.
Lastly, executors have to actually put forth the effort to prove that a will is valid. As the sole legal representative of the estate, this is their job, and is obligated for them to inherit, giving them an incentive.
How Can A Great Barrington, Massachusetts Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly perplexing, it is not a bad idea to consult with a reputable probate lawyer in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.