In Ellensburg, 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 Ellensburg, 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 Ellensburg, 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 incitement to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Ellensburg, Washington
The executor has many duties regarding the will. First, they have to really initiate the probate proceedings, which must be done before the will is effectuated.
They further are obligated to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, normally by filing a death certificate.
There may be numerous 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.
Additionally, the executor is obligated to take a leading role in showing 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 Ellensburg, Washington 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 Ellensburg, Washington, especially if you find yourself being the executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to proceed.