Salisbury, North Carolina has a legal process known as "probate." This is when a court determines whether or not a will is lawful, and, accordingly, whether or not to effectuate its provisions.
In the probate process, a Salisbury, North Carolina probate court has many duties, including ruling on a will's validity, making an inventory of the estate's assets, and making note of all the decedent's debts. Once the will is decided to be valid, the court will distribute the property according to its clauses.
Normally, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in Salisbury, North Carolina will assign an administrator to serve the role as the executor. This is normally the closest adult relative of the decedent, or the person who stands to inherit the most.
Because the executor is responsible for really 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 Salisbury, North Carolina
The executor has various duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate hearings with the court, and this procedure has to be finalized before the will takes effect.
Furthermore, it's the executor's job to notify all affected 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.
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 gather a list of everyone who is entitled to inherit from the decedent, so attempts to contact them can be made. They further have to account for all the testator's debts and assets.
Additionally, the executor is obligated to take a leading role in showing 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 Salisbury, North Carolina Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a seasoned Salisbury, North Carolina probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.