In North Reading, Massachusetts, probate is the procedure in which a court validates or voids a will.
As part of the probate procedure, the court in North Reading, 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.
Normally, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in North Reading, Massachusetts will assign an administrator to serve the role as the executor. This is normally the closest adult relative of the decedent, or the person who stands to inherit the most.
The major duty of the executor is to serve as the living incarnation of the estate. Their job is to start probate proceedings, and see them to completion. If an executor has to be appointed by the court, it will normally 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 North Reading, 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.
Furthermore, it's the executor's job to notify all concerned parties that the person who made the will has died. "Interested parties" are typically people who are named in the will, or who would inherit the estate if the decedent had died without a will.
The executor will also have to gather 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 personification 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 normally 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 North Reading, Massachusetts Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a seasoned North Reading, Massachusetts probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.