In Odessa, 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 Odessa, Texas has several 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.
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, an Odessa, Texas probate court has to assign one.
The executor is the individual who initiates probate proceedings. The person who stands to inherit the most from the will is usually appointed the executor, because they will have the most reason to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Odessa, 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.
Also, it's the executor's job to notify all concerned parties that the person who made the will has died. "Interested parties" are generally people who are named in the will, or who would inherit the estate if the decedent had died without a will.
Because people who stand to inherit from the testator may be scattered around the country, or even the world, contacting them is sometimes challenging. One of the responsibilities of the executor is to compile a list of everyone who is entitled to inherit from the decedent, so attempts to contact them can be made. They also have to account for all the testator's debts and assets.
Furthermore, the executor is required to take a leading role in proving the validity of the will. The executor obviously has an incentive to see the process through, since they cannot inherit until probate is complete.
How Can A Odessa, Texas Lawyer Help?
Because of the complexities inherent in the probate process, it is a good idea to hire an experienced Odessa, Texas probate lawyer, particularly for the executors of estates.