In Clark County, Washington "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 Clark County, Washington will decide the validity of the will, determine and inventory the decedent's assets, account for the decedent's debts and back taxes, and distribute the decedent's property, among other things.
Wills normally name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Clark County, Washington court will appoint an executor. This is normally the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be legitimate.
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 Clark County, Washington
The executor has many duties with respect to the will. First, it is his or her job to actually initiate probate proceedings, which often must be done before the will is given effect.
Furthermore, the executor has to make sure that the decedent's relatives and other people named in the will have notice of the testator's death, normally through the filing of a copy of the 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.
Additionally, the executor is obligated to take the lead in showing the validity of the will, effectively acting as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate. The executor is normally the person who will inherit the most once the will goes through probate, so they have a good reason to put in the work to do this.
How Can A Clark County, Washington Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies involved in probate, it would be a seasoned idea to consult with and retain a Clark County, Washington attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.