In Sanford, Maine, probate is the procedure in which a court validates or voids a will.
As part of the probate procedure, the court in Sanford, 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 commonly name a person as the executor of the estate. If not, the court in Sanford, 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 normally 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 Sanford, Maine
There are quite a few things that an executor is accountable for. At the outset, they are obligated to file the probate action with the appropriate court. No progress, let alone any final disposition of the estate, can be made until this happens.
Furthermore, it's the executor's job to notify all affected 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.
There may be various people who are entitled to take under a testator's will, with which the testator may have fallout out of touch years ago. This can make them hard to find, but they need to be found, nonetheless. To that end, the executor is obligated to make a list of everyone who might be able to inherit, whether they're named in the will, or closely related to the testator. Furthermore, they have to make known all of the decedent's major assets and debts.
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 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 Sanford, Maine Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies involved in probate, it would be a seasoned idea to consult with and retain a Sanford, Maine attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.