Bozeman, Montana has a legal process known as "probate." This is when a court determines whether or not a will is binding, and, accordingly, whether or not to effectuate its provisions.
During probate, the court in Bozeman, Montana 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.
Wills typically name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Bozeman, Montana court will appoint an executor. This is typically the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be legitimate.
The executor is the person who has to get the ball rolling on the probate process, and basically serves as a living personification of the decedent's estate. It is their job to defend the estate from debtors (if a legitimate defense for the debt exists, of course), and wind up any legal proceedings that the decedent might have been engaged in. If an executor needs to be appointed, a court typically chooses the person who will inherit the most if the will is given effect, since that person will have the most incitement to carry out the duties of the executor.
Duties of the Executor in Bozeman, Montana
The executor has many duties regarding the will. First, they have to truly initiate the probate proceedings, which must be done before the will is effectuated.
They additionally are obligated to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, typically by filing a death certificate.
Executors are also obliged 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.
As the representative of the estate, the executor has to take charge of the probate process, filing the proper court papers, and, if necessary, hiring an attorney for advice. If the estate is large, and the executor stands to inherit a great deal of money once this process is done, they'll probably find it to be worth the time and expense.
How Can A Bozeman, Montana Lawyer Help?
Because of the difficulties involved in probate, it would be a reliable idea to consult with and retain a Bozeman, Montana attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.