Las Cruces, New Mexico has a legal process known as "probate." This is when a court decides whether or not a will is binding, and, accordingly, whether or not to effectuate its provisions.
As part of the probate procedure, the court in Las Cruces, New Mexico 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.
Most wills name a specific person as the executor of the estate, but sometimes they don't, or the named executor is dead, out of the court's jurisdiction, or otherwise unfit to serve in this capacity. In these cases, a Las Cruces, New Mexico probate court has to appoint one.
The executor is the person who initiates probate proceedings. The person who stands to inherit the most from the will is normally appointed the executor, because they will have the most incitement to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Las Cruces, New Mexico
There are quite a few things that an executor is responsible for. At the outset, they are required to file the probate action with the appropriate court. No progress, let alone any final disposition of the estate, can be made until this happens.
Additionally, the executor has to make sure that the decedent's relatives and other people named in the will have notice of the testator's death, normally through the filing of a copy of the 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.
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 Las Cruces, New Mexico Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies inherent in the probate process, it is a good idea to hire an accomplished Las Cruces, New Mexico probate lawyer, particularly for the executors of estates.