In Shawnee, Oklahoma, 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 decide that it is legitimate.
During probate, the court in Shawnee, Oklahoma will decide the validity of the will, establish and inventory the decedent's assets, account for the decedent's debts and back taxes, and distribute the decedent's property, among other things.
The executor of the estate is often named in the will. If not, the probate court in Shawnee, Oklahoma will name will appoint a person to serve as executor. This is normally the person who stands to inherit the most under the will.
The executor is the person accountable 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 Shawnee, Oklahoma
The executor has various duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate hearings with the court, and this procedure has to be finalized before the will takes effect.
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 Shawnee, Oklahoma Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly difficult, it is not a bad idea to consult with a seasoned probate lawyer in Shawnee, Oklahoma, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.