In Tea, South Dakota, 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.
As part of this procedure, the Tea, South Dakota probate court will decide the validity of the will, inventory the decedent's assets and debts, and then, lastly, distribute the estate according to the will, assuming it is deemed to be valid.
Usually, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in Tea, South Dakota will assign an administrator to serve the role as the executor. This is usually the closest adult relative of the decedent, or the person who stands to inherit the most.
The executor is the person who has to get the ball rolling on the probate process, and basically serves as a living personification 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 involved in. If an executor needs to be appointed, a court usually chooses the person who will inherit the most if the will is given effect, since that person will have the most incitement to carry out the duties of the executor.
Duties of the Executor in Tea, South Dakota
The executor has many duties regarding the will. First, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings, which must be done before the will is effectuated.
They also are obligated to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, usually by filing a death certificate.
The executor will also have to compile and make accessible a list of all of the decedent's debts and assets, as well as a list of those who stand to inherit from the decedent.
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 usually 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 Tea, South Dakota Lawyer Help?
Because of the complexities involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a reputable Tea, South Dakota probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.