In Winona, Minnesota, probate is the procedure in which a court validates or voids a will.
As part of this procedure, the court in Winona, Minnesota has several important responsibilities. Most notably, 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 guarantee that the property is distributed in an orderly manner, as close to the terms of the will (assuming it is valid) as possible.
Wills usually name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Winona, Minnesota court will appoint an executor. This is usually the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be legitimate.
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 inducement to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Winona, Minnesota
The executor has many duties regarding the will. First, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings, which must be done before the will is effectuated.
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 difficult to find, but they need to be found, nonetheless. To that end, the executor is required 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 usually 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 Winona, Minnesota Lawyer Help?
Because of the complexities involved in probate, it would be a reputable idea to consult with and retain a Winona, Minnesota attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.