In Reedsburg, 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 Reedsburg, 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 Reedsburg, 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.
The executor is the person who has to get the ball rolling on the probate process, and basically serves as a living personification of the decedent's estate. It is their job to defend the estate from debtors (if a legitimate defense for the debt exists, of course), and wind up any legal proceedings that the decedent might have been immersed in. If an executor needs to be appointed, a court normally chooses the person who will inherit the most if the will is given effect, since that person will have the most inducement to carry out the duties of the executor.
Duties of the Executor in Reedsburg, Wisconsin
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.
The executor will also have to gather and make accessible a list of all of the decedent's debts and assets, as well as a list of those who stand to inherit from the decedent.
Lastly, executors have to actually put forth the effort to show that a will is valid. As the sole legal representative of the estate, this is their job, and is obligated for them to inherit, giving them an incentive.
How Can A Reedsburg, Wisconsin Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly difficult, it is not a bad idea to consult with a seasoned probate lawyer in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.