Odessa, Missouri has a legal process known as "probate." This is when a court determines whether or not a will is legal, and, accordingly, whether or not to effectuate its provisions.
During probate, the court in Odessa, Missouri will decide the validity of the will, determine 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 particular person as the executor of the estate, but sometimes they don't, or the named executor is deceased, out of the court's jurisdiction, or otherwise inadequate to serve in this capacity. In these situations, an Odessa, Missouri probate court has to assign one.
Because the executor is responsible for truly initiating probate proceedings and seeing them to finalization, 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 Odessa, 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 alert anyone with an interest in the will of the death of the decedent. Persons 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).
Because people who stand to inherit from the testator may be scattered around the country, or even the world, contacting them is sometimes challenging. One of the responsibilities of the executor is to collect a list of everyone who is entitled to inherit from the decedent, so attempts to contact them can be made. They additionally have to account for all the testator's debts and assets.
Lastly, executors have to actually put forth the effort to establish that a will is valid. As the sole legal representative of the estate, this is their job, and is obligated for them to inherit, giving them an incentive.
How Can A Odessa, Missouri Lawyer Help?
Because of the difficulties involved in probate, it would be a reliable idea to consult with and retain an Odessa, Missouri attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.