In Anacortes, Washington "probate" refers to the process a court uses to decide whether or not a will is valid, thereby deciding if it should be given effect.
During probate, the court in Anacortes, Washington will determine the validity of the will, distinguish and inventory the decedent's assets, account for the decedent's debts and back taxes, and distribute the decedent's property, among other things.
The executor of the estate is frequently named in the will. If not, the probate court in Anacortes, Washington will name will appoint a person to serve as executor. This is typically the person who stands to inherit the most under the will.
The executor is the person who has to get the ball rolling on the probate process, and essentially serves as a living symbol of the decedent's estate. It is their job to defend the estate from debtors (if a legitimate defense for the debt exists, of course), and wind up any legal proceedings that the decedent might have been engaged in. If an executor needs to be appointed, a court typically chooses the person who will inherit the most if the will is given effect, since that person will have the most inducement to carry out the duties of the executor.
Duties of the Executor in Anacortes, Washington
There are quite a few things that an executor is responsible for. At the outset, they are required to file the probate action with the appropriate court. No progress, let alone any final disposition of the estate, can be made until this happens.
Executors must also alert anyone with an interest in the will of the death of the decedent. Persons 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).
The executor will also have to collect and make available a list of all of the decedent's debts and assets, as well as a list of those who stand to inherit from the decedent.
As the representative of the estate, the executor has to take charge of the probate process, filing the proper court papers, and, if necessary, hiring an attorney for help. If the estate is large, and the executor stands to inherit a great deal of money once this process is done, they'll probably find it to be worth the time and expense.
How Can A Anacortes, Washington Lawyer Help?
Because of the difficulties involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a knowledgeable Anacortes, Washington probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.