In Lancaster, 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.
In the probate process, a Lancaster, Pennsylvania probate court has various 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 determined to be valid, the court will distribute the property according to its terms.
Typically, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in Lancaster, Pennsylvania will appoint an administrator to serve the role as the executor. This is typically the closest adult relative of the decedent, or the person who stands to inherit the most.
Because the executor is responsible for truly 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 Lancaster, Pennsylvania
The executor has several duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings with the court, and this procedure has to be finished before the will takes effect.
Additionally, it's the executor's job to notify all involved parties that the person who made the will has died. "Interested parties" are usually people who are named in the will, or who would inherit the estate if the decedent had died without a will.
If the decedent was even somewhat well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have substantial amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with drafting an accurate accounting of the debts and assets of the estate, so as much of the decedent's debts can be paid off as possible.
As the representative of the estate, the executor has to take charge of the probate process, filing the proper court papers, and, if necessary, hiring an attorney for help. If the estate is large, and the executor stands to inherit a great deal of money once this process is done, they'll probably find it to be worth the time and expense.
How Can A Lancaster, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
Because of the difficulties involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a knowledgeable Lancaster, Pennsylvania probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.