Middletown, New York has a legal process known as "probate." This is when a court decides whether or not a will is valid, and, accordingly, whether or not to effectuate its provisions.
As part of this procedure, the court in Middletown, New York has many important responsibilities. Most vitally, it has to decide if the will is valid, and consider evidence that it is not (if any such evidence exists). The probate court then has to ensure that the property is distributed in an orderly manner, as close to the terms of the will (assuming it is valid) as possible.
Normally, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in Middletown, New York 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 incentive to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Middletown, New York
The executor has several duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings with the court, and this procedure has to be finished 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.
If the decedent was even somewhat well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have considerable amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with formulating an accurate accounting of the debts and assets of the estate, so as much of the decedent's debts can be paid off as possible.
Additionally, the executor is required to take the lead in showing the validity of the will, effectively acting as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate. The executor is normally the person who will inherit the most once the will goes through probate, so they have a good reason to put in the work to do this.
How Can A Middletown, New York Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly convoluted, it is not a bad idea to consult with a brilliant probate lawyer in Middletown, New York, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.