In Bellefontaine Neighbors, Missouri, probate is the procedure in which a court validates or voids a will.
As part of this procedure, the court in Bellefontaine Neighbors, Missouri 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 Bellefontaine Neighbors, Missouri 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 Bellefontaine Neighbors, Missouri
The executor has numerous duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate hearings with the court, and this procedure has to be done before the will takes effect.
Executors must also inform anyone with an interest in the will of the death of the decedent. People with an interest in the outcome of probate are those who are named in the will, or anyone who would likely inherit if the will is invalidated (close relatives, for the most part).
Executors are also required to make accessible an accounting of the testator's debts and assets, so their affairs can be wound up, along with a list of everybody who is named in the will, or otherwise stands to inherit.
Furthermore, the executor is required to take a leading role in proving 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 Bellefontaine Neighbors, Missouri Lawyer Help?
Because this can be (though isn't always) a fairly perplexing process, it's a good idea to get a reputable probate lawyer in Bellefontaine Neighbors, Missouri, especially if you find yourself being the executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to proceed.