In Herndon, Virginia "probate" refers to the process a court uses to determine whether or not a will is legitimate, thereby deciding if it should be given effect.
During probate, the court in Herndon, Virginia will decide the validity of the will, establish and inventory the decedent's assets, account for the decedent's debts and back taxes, and distribute the decedent's property, among other things.
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 unsuited to serve in this capacity. In these situations, a Herndon, Virginia probate court has to assign one.
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 Herndon, Virginia
The executor has various duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate hearings with the court, and this procedure has to be finalized before the will takes effect.
Also, it's the executor's job to notify all affected 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.
If the decedent was even reasonably well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have significant amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with creating 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.
As the representative of the estate, the executor has to take charge of the probate process, filing the necessary court papers, and, if necessary, hiring an attorney for guidance. If the estate is large, and the executor stands to inherit a great deal of money once this process is complete, they'll probably find it to be worth the time and expense.
How Can A Herndon, Virginia Lawyer Help?
Because this can be (though isn't always) a fairly perplexing process, it's a good idea to get a reputable probate lawyer in Herndon, Virginia, especially if you find yourself being the executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to proceed.