In Berrien County, Michigan, probate is the procedure in which a court validates or voids a will.
As part of the probate procedure, the court in Berrien County, Michigan 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 Berrien County, Michigan 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 motivation to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Berrien County, Michigan
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.
The executor also has to provide those with a direct interest in the will notice that the decedent has deceased, by filing an official death certificate.
There may be numerous 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 challenging to find, but they need to be found, nonetheless. To that end, the executor is obliged 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 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 typically 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 Berrien County, Michigan Lawyer Help?
Because of the difficulties involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a reliable Berrien County, Michigan probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.