In Berks County, Pennsylvania, 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 Berks County, Pennsylvania will determine the validity of the will, identify and inventory the decedent's assets, account for the decedent's debts and back taxes, and distribute the decedent's property, among other things.
Wills commonly name a person as the executor of the estate. If not, the court in Berks County, Pennsylvania will name one. This is most often the adult individual who stands to inherit the most money or property from the will.
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 incitement to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Berks County, Pennsylvania
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.
Executors must also notify anyone with an interest in the will of the death of the decedent. Individuals with an interest in the outcome of probate are those who are named in the will, or anyone who would likely inherit if the will is invalidated (close relatives, for the most part).
The executor will also have to gather and make available a list of all of the decedent's debts and assets, as well as a list of those who stand to inherit from the decedent.
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 Berks County, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a brilliant Berks County, Pennsylvania probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.