In Richfield, Wisconsin "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.
In the probate process, a Richfield, 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 determined to be valid, the court will distribute the property according to its terms.
Normally, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in Richfield, Wisconsin will appoint 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 essentially serves as a living embodiment 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 incitement to carry out the duties of the executor.
Duties of the Executor in Richfield, Wisconsin
The executor has many duties concerning the will. First, they have to really initiate the probate proceedings, which must be completed before the will is effectuated.
They further are required to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, normally by filing a death certificate.
Executors are also obligated 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.
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 Richfield, Wisconsin Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies inherent in the probate process, it is a good idea to hire an accomplished Richfield, Wisconsin probate lawyer, particularly for the executors of estates.