In Medford, Wisconsin "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.
In the probate process, a Medford, Wisconsin probate court has many duties, including ruling on a will's validity, making an inventory of the estate's assets, and making note of all the decedent's debts. Once the will is decided to be valid, the court will distribute the property according to its clauses.
Normally, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in Medford, Wisconsin will assign an administrator to serve the role as the executor. This is normally the closest adult relative of the decedent, or the person who stands to inherit the most.
Because the executor is responsible for really initiating probate proceedings and seeing them to finalization, the person chosen for this role is often the one who stands to inherit the most from the will - giving them an incentive to put in the necessary time and effort.
Duties of the Executor in Medford, Wisconsin
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.
The executor also has to provide those with a direct interest in the will notice that the decedent has deceased, by filing an official death certificate.
Executors are also obligated to make accessible an accounting of the testator's debts and assets, so their affairs can be wound up, along with a list of everybody who is named in the will, or otherwise stands to inherit.
Because the executor serves as the living representation of the decedent's estate, they are solely accountable for proving the validity of the will. This is a lot of work, but because executors are normally 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 finalization.
How Can A Medford, Wisconsin Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly difficult, it is not a bad idea to consult with a seasoned probate lawyer in Medford, Wisconsin, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.