Lancaster County, Nebraska has a legal process known as "probate." This is when a court decides whether or not a will is legitimate, and, accordingly, whether or not to effectuate its provisions.
In the probate process, a Lancaster County, Nebraska 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 determined to be valid, the court will distribute the property according to its terms.
Wills normally name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Lancaster County, Nebraska court will appoint an executor. This is normally the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be valid.
The executor is the person who has to get the ball rolling on the probate process, and essentially serves as a living embodiment 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 immersed in. If an executor needs to be appointed, a court normally chooses the person who will inherit the most if the will is given effect, since that person will have the most motivation to carry out the duties of the executor.
Duties of the Executor in Lancaster County, Nebraska
The executor has many duties concerning the will. First, they have to really initiate the probate proceedings, which must be completed before the will is effectuated.
They further are required to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, normally by filing a death certificate.
The executor will also have to gather and make available a list of all of the decedent's debts and assets, as well as a list of those who stand to inherit from the decedent.
Because the executor serves as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate, they are solely responsible for proving the validity of the will. This is a lot of work, but because executors are normally 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 completion.
How Can A Lancaster County, Nebraska Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly convoluted, it is not a bad idea to consult with a brilliant probate lawyer in Lancaster County, Nebraska, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.