In Houlton, Maine, probate is the procedure in which a court validates or voids a will.
As part of the probate procedure, the court in Houlton, Maine 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.
Wills frequently name a person as the executor of the estate. If not, the court in Houlton, Maine will name one. This is most often the adult individual who stands to inherit the most funds or property from the will.
The executor is the individual who initiates probate proceedings. The person who stands to inherit the most from the will is typically appointed the executor, because they will have the most inducement to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Houlton, Maine
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.
Executors must also alert anyone with an interest in the will of the death of the decedent. Persons with an interest in the outcome of probate are those who are named in the will, or anyone who would likely inherit if the will is invalidated (close relatives, for the most part).
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.
Lastly, executors have to actually put forth the effort to establish 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 Houlton, Maine Lawyer Help?
Because of the difficulties inherent in the probate process, it is a good idea to hire an efficient Houlton, Maine probate lawyer, particularly for the executors of estates.