In Spokane 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 Spokane County, Washington 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.
Wills usually name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Spokane County, Washington court will appoint an executor. This is usually the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be legitimate.
The general duty of the executor is to serve as the living incarnation of the estate. Their job is to commence probate proceedings, and see them to completion. If an executor has to be appointed by the court, it will usually be the person who stands to inherit the most from the will, as he or she has an incentive to make every effort to avoid delay.
Duties of the Executor in Spokane County, Washington
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.
They also are obligated to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, usually by filing a death certificate.
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.
Furthermore, the executor is required to take a leading role in proving 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 Spokane County, Washington Lawyer Help?
Because of the complexities involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a reputable Spokane County, Washington probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.