In Fircrest, 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 Fircrest, 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.
Wills usually name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Fircrest, Washington court will appoint an executor. This is usually the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be valid.
The executor is the person responsible for initiating the probate proceedings. The person who would inherit the most from the will is appointed, because they have the greatest reason to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Fircrest, Washington
The executor has many duties concerning the will. First, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings, which must be finished before the will is effectuated.
Additionally, 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, usually through the filing of a copy of the official death certificate.
Executors are also required to make available an accounting of the testator's debts and assets, so their affairs can be wound up, along with a list of everyone who is named in the will, or otherwise stands to inherit.
Because the executor serves as the living symbol of the decedent's estate, they are solely responsible for proving the validity of the will. This is a lot of work, but because executors are usually chosen based on how much they stand to inherit from a will once its validity is confirmed, they have a good incentive to see the process to completion.
How Can A Fircrest, Washington Lawyer Help?
Because of the complexities involved in probate, it would be a good idea to consult with and retain a Fircrest, Washington attorney who specializes in probate, especially if you are the executor of an estate.