Rockaway, New Jersey has a legal process known as "probate." This is when a court determines 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 Rockaway, New Jersey will decide the validity of the will, inventory the decedent's assets and debts, then, assuming everything is deemed 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 Rockaway, New Jersey 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.
The executor is the person who has to get the ball rolling on the probate process, and basically serves as a living representation 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 inducement to carry out the duties of the executor.
Duties of the Executor in Rockaway, New Jersey
Executors of estates have a many distinct responsibilities. First, the executor must start the probate proceedings. Probate almost always needs to be finalized before the property in an estate can be released according to the terms of the will.
The executor also has to provide those with a direct interest in the will notice that the decedent has deceased, by filing an official death certificate.
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.
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 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 finalization.
How Can A Rockaway, New Jersey Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly difficult, it is not a bad idea to consult with a seasoned probate lawyer in Rockaway, New Jersey, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.