In Hurricane, West Virginia "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 Hurricane, West Virginia 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 Hurricane, West Virginia 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 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 motivation to carry out the duties of the executor.
Duties of the Executor in Hurricane, West Virginia
The executor has many duties with respect to the will. First, it is his or her job to actually initiate probate proceedings, which often must be completed before the will is given effect.
Furthermore, it's the executor's job to notify all interested parties that the person who made the will has died. "Interested parties" are typically people who are named in the will, or who would inherit the estate if the decedent had died without a will.
Because people who stand to inherit from the testator may be scattered around the country, or even the world, contacting them is sometimes difficult. One of the responsibilities of the executor is to gather a list of everyone who is entitled to inherit from the decedent, so attempts to contact them can be made. They further have to account for all the testator's debts and assets.
As the representative of the estate, the executor has to take charge of the probate process, filing the required court papers, and, if necessary, hiring an attorney for assistance. If the estate is large, and the executor stands to inherit a great deal of money once this process is fulfilled, they'll probably find it to be worth the time and expense.
How Can A Hurricane, West Virginia Lawyer Help?
Because of the intricacies inherent in the probate process, it is a good idea to hire an accomplished Hurricane, West Virginia probate lawyer, particularly for the executors of estates.