In Northampton, 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, a Northampton, 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 decided to be valid, the court will distribute the property according to its clauses.
The executor of the estate is frequently named in the will. If not, the probate court in Northampton, Pennsylvania will name will appoint a person to serve as executor. This is typically the person who stands to inherit the most under the will.
The executor is the individual who initiates probate proceedings. The person who stands to inherit the most from the will is typically appointed the executor, because they will have the most motivation to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Northampton, Pennsylvania
There are quite a few things that an executor is accountable for. At the outset, they are obligated 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.
Furthermore, 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, typically through the filing of a copy of the official death certificate.
If the decedent was even reasonably 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.
Moreover, the executor is obliged to take a leading role in establishing the validity of the will. The executor obviously has an incentive to see the process through, since they cannot inherit until probate is complete.
How Can A Northampton, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly confusing, it is not a bad idea to consult with a reliable probate lawyer in Northampton, Pennsylvania, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.