In Indiana, 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 decide that it is legitimate.
In the probate process, an Indiana, Pennsylvania probate court has several duties, including ruling on a will's validity, making an inventory of the estate's assets, and making note of all the decedent's debts. Once the will is decided to be valid, the court will distribute the property according to its clauses.
Usually, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in Indiana, Pennsylvania will assign an administrator to serve the role as the executor. This is usually the closest adult relative of the decedent, or the person who stands to inherit the most.
Because the executor is responsible for actually initiating probate proceedings and seeing them to finalization, 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 Indiana, Pennsylvania
The executor has many duties regarding the will. First, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings, which must be finalized before the will is effectuated.
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.
Executors are also required to make accessible an accounting of the testator's debts and assets, so their affairs can be wound up, along with a list of everybody who is named in the will, or otherwise stands to inherit.
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 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 finalization.
How Can A Indiana, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly perplexing, it is not a bad idea to consult with a reputable probate lawyer in Indiana, Pennsylvania, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.