In Stillwater, Minnesota, probate is the process in which a court validates or voids a will.
As part of this procedure, the court in Stillwater, Minnesota has various important responsibilities. Most importantly, it has to decide if the will is valid, and consider evidence that it is not (if any such evidence exists). The probate court then has to ensure that the property is distributed in an orderly manner, as close to the terms of the will (assuming it is valid) as possible.
Wills typically name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Stillwater, Minnesota court will appoint an executor. This is typically the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be valid.
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 incitement to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Stillwater, Minnesota
The executor has many duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings with the court, and this procedure has to be completed before the will takes effect.
They additionally are required to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, typically by filing a death certificate.
If the decedent was even moderately well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have substantial amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with drafting an accurate accounting of the debts and assets of the estate, so as much of the decedent's debts can be paid off as possible.
Moreover, the executor is obliged to take a leading role in establishing the validity of the will. The executor obviously has an incentive to see the process through, since they cannot inherit until probate is complete.
How Can A Stillwater, Minnesota Lawyer Help?
Because of the difficulties involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a knowledgeable Stillwater, Minnesota probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.