In Stafford, 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 Stafford, Texas has many important responsibilities. Most especially, 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.
The executor of the estate is often named in the will. If not, the probate court in Stafford, Texas will name will appoint a person to serve as executor. This is normally the person who stands to inherit the most under the will.
The executor is the individual who initiates probate proceedings. The person who stands to inherit the most from the will is normally appointed the executor, because they will have the most motivation to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Stafford, Texas
Executors of estates have a many distinct responsibilities. First, the executor must start the probate proceedings. Probate almost always needs to be finalized before the property in an estate can be released according to the terms of the will.
Executors must also notify anyone with an interest in the will of the death of the decedent. Individuals 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).
There may be various 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 hard to find, but they need to be found, nonetheless. To that end, the executor is obligated 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. Furthermore, they have to make known all of the decedent's major assets and debts.
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 Stafford, Texas Lawyer Help?
Because this can be (though isn't always) a fairly intricate process, it's a good idea to get a seasoned probate lawyer in Stafford, Texas, especially if you find yourself being the executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to proceed.