In Clifton Heights, 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 Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania 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.
Wills often name a person as the executor of the estate. If not, the court in Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania will name one. This is most often the adult individual who stands to inherit the most money or property from the will.
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 Clifton Heights, 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.
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.
Executors are also required 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.
Because the executor serves as the living symbol of the decedent's estate, they are solely responsible for proving the validity of the will. This is a lot of work, but because executors are usually 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 completion.
How Can A Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
Because of the complexities involved in probate, it would be a good idea to consult with and retain a Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.