In Devine, 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 decide that it is legitimate.
As part of this procedure, the Devine, Texas 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.
Wills often name a person as the executor of the estate. If not, the court in Devine, Texas will name one. This is most often the adult individual who stands to inherit the most funds or property from the will.
Because the executor is responsible for actually 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 Devine, Texas
The executor has several duties with respect to the will. First, it is his or her job to actually initiate probate proceedings, which often must be finalized before the will is given effect.
Executors must also inform anyone with an interest in the will of the death of the decedent. People with an interest in the outcome of probate are those who are named in the will, or anyone who would likely inherit if the will is invalidated (close relatives, for the most part).
Executors are also required to make accessible an accounting of the testator's debts and assets, so their affairs can be wound up, along with a list of everybody who is named in the will, or otherwise stands to inherit.
Furthermore, the executor is obligated to take the lead in proving the validity of the will, effectively acting as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate. The executor is usually 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 Devine, Texas Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly perplexing, it is not a bad idea to consult with a reputable probate lawyer in Devine, Texas, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.