In West Jefferson, Ohio, probate is a legal procedure that a court must go through before giving effect to a will. Before putting a will into effect, a court has to determine that it is valid.
During probate, the court in West Jefferson, Ohio will determine the validity of the will, distinguish and inventory the decedent's assets, account for the decedent's debts and back taxes, and distribute the decedent's property, among other things.
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 unsuitable to serve in this capacity. In these cases, a West Jefferson, Ohio probate court has to appoint one.
The basic duty of the executor is to serve as the living incarnation of the estate. Their job is to begin probate proceedings, and see them to completion. If an executor has to be appointed by the court, it will usually be the person who stands to inherit the most from the will, as he or she has an incentive to make every effort to avoid delay.
Duties of the Executor in West Jefferson, Ohio
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.
They also are required to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, usually by filing a death certificate.
If the decedent was even somewhat well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have significant amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with creating 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.
Finally, executors have to actually put forth the effort to prove that a will is valid. As the sole legal representative of the estate, this is their job, and is required for them to inherit, giving them an incentive.
How Can A West Jefferson, Ohio Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly complicated, it is not a bad idea to consult with a good probate lawyer in West Jefferson, Ohio, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.