In Shenandoah, 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 Shenandoah, 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.
The executor of the estate is frequently named in the will. If not, the probate court in Shenandoah, 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 person who has to get the ball rolling on the probate process, and essentially serves as a living symbol of the decedent's estate. It is their job to defend the estate from debtors (if a legitimate defense for the debt exists, of course), and wind up any legal proceedings that the decedent might have been engaged in. If an executor needs to be appointed, a court typically chooses the person who will inherit the most if the will is given effect, since that person will have the most inducement to carry out the duties of the executor.
Duties of the Executor in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania
The executor has various duties with respect to the will. First, it is his or her job to actually initiate probate proceedings, which often must be finished before the will is given effect.
Executors must also alert anyone with an interest in the will of the death of the decedent. Persons with an interest in the outcome of probate are those who are named in the will, or anyone who would likely inherit if the will is invalidated (close relatives, for the most part).
Because people who stand to inherit from the testator may be scattered around the country, or even the world, contacting them is sometimes difficult. One of the responsibilities of the executor is to collect a list of everyone who is entitled to inherit from the decedent, so attempts to contact them can be made. They additionally have to account for all the testator's debts and assets.
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 Shenandoah, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
Because of the difficulties inherent in the probate process, it is a good idea to hire an efficient Shenandoah, Pennsylvania probate lawyer, particularly for the executors of estates.