Joplin, Missouri has a legal process known as "probate." This is when a court decides whether or not a will is valid, and, accordingly, whether or not to effectuate its provisions.
During probate, the court in Joplin, Missouri will determine the validity of the will, identify and inventory the decedent's assets, account for the decedent's debts and back taxes, and distribute the decedent's property, among other things.
Most wills name a specific person as the executor of the estate, but sometimes they don't, or the named executor is dead, out of the court's jurisdiction, or otherwise unfit to serve in this capacity. In these cases, a Joplin, Missouri probate court has to appoint one.
Because the executor is responsible for really initiating probate proceedings and seeing them to completion, the person chosen for this role is often the one who stands to inherit the most from the will - giving them an incentive to put in the necessary time and effort.
Duties of the Executor in Joplin, Missouri
The executor has many duties with respect to the will. First, it is his or her job to actually initiate probate proceedings, which often must be completed before the will is given effect.
Furthermore, it's the executor's job to notify all interested parties that the person who made the will has died. "Interested parties" are typically people who are named in the will, or who would inherit the estate if the decedent had died without a will.
If the decedent was even moderately well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have considerable amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with formulating 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.
As the representative of the estate, the executor has to take charge of the probate process, filing the required court papers, and, if necessary, hiring an attorney for assistance. If the estate is large, and the executor stands to inherit a great deal of money once this process is fulfilled, they'll probably find it to be worth the time and expense.
How Can A Joplin, Missouri Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies involved in probate, it would be a brilliant idea to consult with and retain a Joplin, Missouri attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.