In Portland, Maine, probate is the process in which a court validates or voids a will.
As part of the probate procedure, the court in Portland, Maine will determine the validity of the will, inventory the decedent's assets and debts, then, assuming everything is found 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 Portland, Maine will name one. This is most often the adult individual who stands to inherit the most money or property from the will.
The executor is the person 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 motivation to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Portland, Maine
The executor has many duties concerning the will. First, they have to truly initiate the probate proceedings, which must be completed before the will is effectuated.
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.
Executors are also obliged to make available an accounting of the testator's debts and assets, so their affairs can be wound up, along with a list of everyone who is named in the will, or otherwise stands to inherit.
Moreover, the executor is required to take the lead in establishing the validity of the will, effectively acting as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate. The executor is typically the person who will inherit the most once the will goes through probate, so they have a good reason to put in the work to do this.
How Can A Portland, Maine Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly intricate, it is not a bad idea to consult with a knowledgeable probate lawyer in Portland, Maine, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.