In Memphis, Tennessee, 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 Memphis, Tennessee 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.
Most wills name a particular person as the executor of the estate, but sometimes they don't, or the named executor is deceased, out of the court's jurisdiction, or otherwise inadequate to serve in this capacity. In these situations, a Memphis, Tennessee probate court has to assign one.
Because the executor is responsible for really initiating probate proceedings and seeing them to finalization, 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 Memphis, Tennessee
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, 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, normally through the filing of a copy of the official death certificate.
The executor will also have to gather 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 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 Memphis, Tennessee Lawyer Help?
Because this can be (though isn't always) a fairly intricate process, it's a good idea to get a seasoned probate lawyer in Memphis, Tennessee, especially if you find yourself being the executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to proceed.