In Erie, 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 Erie, 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 Erie, Pennsylvania will name one. This is most often the adult individual who stands to inherit the most money or property from the will.
Because the executor is responsible for actually initiating probate proceedings and seeing them to completion, the person chosen for this role is often the one who stands to inherit the most from the will - giving them an incentive to put in the necessary time and effort.
Duties of the Executor in Erie, Pennsylvania
The executor has many duties concerning the will. First, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings, which must be finished before the will is effectuated.
Additionally, the executor has to make sure that the decedent's relatives and other people named in the will have notice of the testator's death, usually through the filing of a copy of the 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.
Furthermore, the executor is required to take the lead in proving the validity of the will, effectively acting as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate. The executor is usually 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 Erie, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
Because of the complexities involved in probate, it would be a good idea to consult with and retain an Erie, Pennsylvania attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.