In Darlington, South Carolina, 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 Darlington, South Carolina 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 determined to be valid, the court will distribute the property according to its terms.
Wills commonly name a person as the executor of the estate. If not, the court in Darlington, South Carolina will name one. This is most often the adult individual who stands to inherit the most money or property from the will.
Because the executor is responsible for really 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 Darlington, South Carolina
Executors of estates have a many distinct responsibilities. First, the executor must start the probate proceedings. Probate almost always needs to be completed before the property in an estate can be released according to the terms of the will.
The executor also has to give those with a direct interest in the will notice that the decedent has died, by filing an official death certificate.
If the decedent was even moderately well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have considerable amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with formulating 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.
Additionally, the executor is required to take the lead in showing the validity of the will, effectively acting as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate. The executor is normally the person who will inherit the most once the will goes through probate, so they have a good reason to put in the work to do this.
How Can A Darlington, South Carolina Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a brilliant Darlington, South Carolina probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.