In Cedar Hill, Texas, 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.
As part of this process, the Cedar Hill, Texas probate court will determine the validity of the will, inventory the decedent's assets and debts, and then, finally, distribute the estate according to the will, assuming it is found to be valid.
Wills frequently name a person as the executor of the estate. If not, the court in Cedar Hill, Texas will name one. This is most often the adult individual who stands to inherit the most money or property from the will.
The executor is the person responsible for initiating the probate proceedings. The person who would inherit the most from the will is appointed, because they have the greatest inducement to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Cedar Hill, Texas
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.
They additionally are required to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, typically by filing a death certificate.
There may be several 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 challenging to find, but they need to be found, nonetheless. To that end, the executor is obliged 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. Additionally, they have to make known all of the decedent's major assets and debts.
Because the executor serves as the living symbol of the decedent's estate, they are solely responsible for proving the validity of the will. This is a lot of work, but because executors are typically 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 completion.
How Can A Cedar Hill, Texas Lawyer Help?
Because this can be (though isn't always) a fairly confusing process, it's a good idea to get a knowledgeable probate lawyer in Cedar Hill, Texas, especially if you find yourself being the executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to proceed.