In Dunbar, West Virginia "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 Dunbar, West Virginia probate court has various 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 frequently named in the will. If not, the probate court in Dunbar, West Virginia will name will appoint a person to serve as executor. This is typically the person who stands to inherit the most under the will.
Because the executor is responsible for truly 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 Dunbar, West Virginia
Executors of estates have a various distinct responsibilities. First, the executor must start the probate proceedings. Probate almost always needs to be finalized before the property in an estate can be released according to the terms of the will.
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.
If the decedent was even reasonably well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have substantial amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with drafting 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.
Moreover, the executor is obligated to take the lead in establishing the validity of the will, effectively acting as the living embodiment of the decedent's estate. The executor is typically 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 Dunbar, West Virginia Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly confusing, it is not a bad idea to consult with a reliable probate lawyer in Dunbar, West Virginia, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.