In Washington County, 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 Washington County, Pennsylvania probate court has many 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.
Wills commonly name a person as the executor of the estate. If not, the court in Washington County, Pennsylvania will name one. This is most often the adult individual who stands to inherit the most funds or property from the will.
The executor is the individual who initiates probate proceedings. The person who stands to inherit the most from the will is normally appointed the executor, because they will have the most incitement to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Washington County, Pennsylvania
The executor has many duties regarding the will. First, they have to really initiate the probate proceedings, which must be done before the will is effectuated.
Furthermore, it's the executor's job to notify all concerned parties that the person who made the will has died. "Interested parties" are typically people who are named in the will, or who would inherit the estate if the decedent had died without a will.
There may be numerous people who are entitled to take under a testator's will, with which the testator may have fallout out of touch years ago. This can make them hard to find, but they need to be found, nonetheless. To that end, the executor is obligated to make a list of everyone who might be able to inherit, whether they're named in the will, or closely related to the testator. Furthermore, they have to make known all of the decedent's major assets and debts.
Because the executor serves as the living personification 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 normally 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 Washington County, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a seasoned Washington County, Pennsylvania probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.