In Clayton, Missouri, probate is the process in which a court validates or voids a will.
As part of this procedure, the court in Clayton, Missouri has many 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 normally name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Clayton, Missouri court will appoint an executor. This is normally the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be valid.
The main duty of the executor is to serve as the living incarnation of the estate. Their job is to initiate probate proceedings, and see them to completion. If an executor has to be appointed by the court, it will normally be the person who stands to inherit the most from the will, as he or she has an incentive to make every effort to avoid delay.
Duties of the Executor in Clayton, Missouri
Executors of estates have a many distinct responsibilities. First, the executor must start the probate proceedings. Probate almost always needs to be completed before the property in an estate can be released according to the terms of the will.
They further are required to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, normally by filing a death certificate.
The executor will also have to gather and make available a list of all of the decedent's debts and assets, as well as a list of those who stand to inherit from the decedent.
Finally, executors have to actually put forth the effort to show that a will is valid. As the sole legal representative of the estate, this is their job, and is required for them to inherit, giving them an incentive.
How Can A Clayton, Missouri Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly convoluted, it is not a bad idea to consult with a brilliant probate lawyer in Clayton, Missouri, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.