Gastonia, North Carolina has a legal process known as "probate." This is when a court determines whether or not a will is legitimate, and, accordingly, whether or not to effectuate its provisions.
During probate, the court in Gastonia, North Carolina 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 often name a person as the executor of the estate. If not, the court in Gastonia, North Carolina will name one. This is most often the adult individual who stands to inherit the most funds or property from the will.
Because the executor is responsible for actually 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 Gastonia, North Carolina
The executor has many duties regarding the will. First, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings, which must be finalized before the will is effectuated.
Furthermore, the executor has to make sure that the decedent's relatives and other people named in the will have notice of the testator's death, usually through the filing of a copy of the official death certificate.
Executors are also required 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.
Furthermore, the executor is required to take a leading role in proving the validity of the will. The executor obviously has an incentive to see the process through, since they cannot inherit until probate is complete.
How Can A Gastonia, North Carolina Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly perplexing, it is not a bad idea to consult with a reputable probate lawyer in Gastonia, North Carolina, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.