Hawthorne, New Jersey has a legal process known as "probate." This is when a court decides whether or not a will is legal, and, accordingly, whether or not to effectuate its provisions.
As part of the probate procedure, the court in Hawthorne, New Jersey will determine the validity of the will, inventory the decedent's assets and debts, then, assuming everything is found to be in order, distribute the estate according to the will.
Normally, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in Hawthorne, New Jersey will appoint 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.
The executor is the person responsible for initiating the probate proceedings. The person who would inherit the most from the will is appointed, because they have the greatest inducement to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Hawthorne, New Jersey
The executor has many duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings with the court, and this procedure has to be completed before the will takes effect.
The executor also has to give those with a direct interest in the will notice that the decedent has died, by filing an official death certificate.
Executors are also obligated to make available an accounting of the testator's debts and assets, so their affairs can be wound up, along with a list of everyone who is named in the will, or otherwise stands to inherit.
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 Hawthorne, New Jersey Lawyer Help?
Because this can be (though isn't always) a fairly difficult process, it's a good idea to get a brilliant probate lawyer in Hawthorne, New Jersey, especially if you find yourself being the executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to proceed.