In Kingston, Massachusetts, probate is the procedure in which a court validates or voids a will.
As part of the probate procedure, the court in Kingston, 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.
Typically, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in Kingston, Massachusetts 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.
The general duty of the executor is to serve as the living incarnation of the estate. Their job is to commence probate proceedings, and see them to completion. If an executor has to be appointed by the court, it will typically be the person who stands to inherit the most from the will, as he or she has an incentive to make every effort to avoid delay.
Duties of the Executor in Kingston, Massachusetts
Executors of estates have a various distinct responsibilities. First, the executor must start the probate proceedings. Probate almost always needs to be finalized before the property in an estate can be released according to the terms of the will.
Furthermore, 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.
The executor will also have to collect and make accessible a list of all of the decedent's debts and assets, as well as a list of those who stand to inherit from the decedent.
Because the executor serves as the living representation of the decedent's estate, they are solely accountable for proving the validity of the will. This is a lot of work, but because executors are typically chosen based on how much they stand to inherit from a will once its validity is confirmed, they have a good incentive to see the process to finalization.
How Can A Kingston, Massachusetts Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly confusing, it is not a bad idea to consult with a reliable probate lawyer in Kingston, Massachusetts, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.