Columbia Falls, Montana has a legal process known as "probate." This is when a court determines whether or not a will is valid, and, accordingly, whether or not to effectuate its provisions.
During probate, the court in Columbia Falls, Montana will decide the validity of the will, establish 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 frequently name a person as the executor of the estate. If not, the court in Columbia Falls, Montana will name one. This is most often the adult individual who stands to inherit the most funds or property from the will.
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 incentive to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Columbia Falls, Montana
The executor has various duties with respect to the will. First, it is his or her job to actually initiate probate proceedings, which often must be finalized before the will is given effect.
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.
Because the executor serves as the living representation of the decedent's estate, they are solely accountable for proving the validity of the will. This is a lot of work, but because executors are typically chosen based on how much they stand to inherit from a will once its validity is confirmed, they have a good incentive to see the process to finalization.
How Can A Columbia Falls, Montana Lawyer Help?
Because of the difficulties involved in probate, it would be a reliable idea to consult with and retain a Columbia Falls, Montana attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.