Westville, 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 Westville, 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 Westville, 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 personification 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 Westville, New Jersey
The executor has many duties regarding the will. First, they have to really initiate the probate proceedings, which must be done before the will is effectuated.
They further are obligated to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, normally by filing a death certificate.
Executors are also obligated 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.
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 Westville, New Jersey Lawyer Help?
Because this can be (though isn't always) a fairly intricate process, it's a good idea to get a seasoned probate lawyer in Westville, New Jersey, especially if you find yourself being the executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to proceed.