In Copperas Cove, 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 Copperas Cove, 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 commonly name a person as the executor of the estate. If not, the court in Copperas Cove, 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 incitement to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Copperas Cove, Texas
There are quite a few things that an executor is responsible for. At the outset, they are required to file the probate action with the appropriate court. No progress, let alone any final disposition of the estate, can be made until this happens.
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.
Executors are also obligated to make available an accounting of the testator's debts and assets, so their affairs can be wound up, along with a list of everyone who is named in the will, or otherwise stands to inherit.
Because the executor serves as the living embodiment 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 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 completion.
How Can A Copperas Cove, Texas Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly convoluted, it is not a bad idea to consult with a brilliant probate lawyer in Copperas Cove, Texas, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.