In York, Maine, probate is the procedure in which a court validates or voids a will.
As part of the probate procedure, the court in York, 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 York, 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 person accountable for initiating the probate proceedings. The person who would inherit the most from the will is appointed, because they have the greatest incentive to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in York, Maine
The executor has many duties with respect to the will. First, it is his or her job to actually initiate probate proceedings, which often must be done before the will is given effect.
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, normally through the filing of a copy of the official death certificate.
Because people who stand to inherit from the testator may be scattered around the country, or even the world, contacting them is sometimes challenging. One of the responsibilities of the executor is to gather a list of everyone who is entitled to inherit from the decedent, so attempts to contact them can be made. They further have to account for all the testator's debts and assets.
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 York, Maine Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a seasoned York, Maine probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.