In Waukesha County, 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 Waukesha County, Wisconsin probate court has several 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.
The executor of the estate is commonly named in the will. If not, the probate court in Waukesha County, Wisconsin will name will appoint a person to serve as executor. This is usually the person who stands to inherit the most under the will.
The executor is the individual who initiates probate proceedings. The person who stands to inherit the most from the will is usually appointed the executor, because they will have the most incitement to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Waukesha County, Wisconsin
Executors of estates have a several distinct responsibilities. First, the executor must start the probate proceedings. Probate almost always needs to be done before the property in an estate can be released according to the terms of the will.
Furthermore, 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, usually through the filing of a copy of the official death certificate.
If the decedent was even slightly 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 obligated to take the lead in proving the validity of the will, effectively acting as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate. The executor is usually 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 Waukesha County, Wisconsin Lawyer Help?
Because of the complexities involved in probate, it would be smart to hire a reputable Waukesha County, Wisconsin probate lawyer, especially if you are the executor of an estate and unsure how to proceed.