In Waterford, 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 Waterford, 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.
The executor of the estate is often named in the will. If not, the probate court in Waterford, Wisconsin will name will appoint a person to serve as executor. This is normally the person who stands to inherit the most under the will.
The executor is the person who initiates probate proceedings. The person who stands to inherit the most from the will is normally appointed the executor, because they will have the most incentive to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Waterford, Wisconsin
Executors of estates have a many distinct responsibilities. First, the executor must start the probate proceedings. Probate almost always needs to be completed before the property in an estate can be released according to the terms of the will.
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, normally through the filing of a copy of the official death certificate.
The executor will also have to gather and make available 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.
Additionally, the executor is required to take the lead in showing the validity of the will, effectively acting as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate. The executor is normally the person who will inherit the most once the will goes through probate, so they have a good reason to put in the work to do this.
How Can A Waterford, Wisconsin Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies inherent in the probate process, it is a good idea to hire an accomplished Waterford, Wisconsin probate lawyer, particularly for the executors of estates.