In Harris County, 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 court in Harris County, Texas has many important responsibilities. Most notably, it has to decide if the will is valid, and consider evidence that it is not (if any such evidence exists). The probate court then has to guarantee that the property is distributed in an orderly manner, as close to the terms of the will (assuming it is valid) as possible.
Normally, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in Harris County, Texas will assign an administrator to serve the role as the executor. This is normally the closest adult relative of the decedent, or the person who stands to inherit the most.
The executor is the person accountable for initiating the probate proceedings. The person who would inherit the most from the will is appointed, because they have the greatest motivation to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Harris County, Texas
The executor has numerous duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate hearings with the court, and this procedure has to be done before the will takes effect.
The executor also has to provide those with a direct interest in the will notice that the decedent has deceased, by filing an official death certificate.
If the decedent was even slightly well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have considerable amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with formulating an accurate accounting of the debts and assets of the estate, so as much of the decedent's debts can be paid off as possible.
Lastly, executors have to actually put forth the effort to show that a will is valid. As the sole legal representative of the estate, this is their job, and is obligated for them to inherit, giving them an incentive.
How Can A Harris County, Texas Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies involved in probate, it would be a seasoned idea to consult with and retain a Harris County, Texas attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.