In Point Pleasant, 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 Point Pleasant, 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 decided to be valid, the court will distribute the property according to its clauses.
Wills normally name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Point Pleasant, West Virginia court will appoint an executor. This is normally the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be legitimate.
The executor is the individual 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 reason to help the process go as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Point Pleasant, West Virginia
Executors of estates have a many 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, normally through the filing of a copy of the official death certificate.
The executor will also have to gather and make accessible 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.
Because the executor serves as the living personification of the decedent's estate, they are solely accountable for proving the validity of the will. This is a lot of work, but because executors are normally chosen based on how much they stand to inherit from a will once its validity is confirmed, they have a good incentive to see the process to finalization.
How Can A Point Pleasant, West Virginia Lawyer Help?
Because this can be (though isn't always) a fairly intricate process, it's a good idea to get a seasoned probate lawyer in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, especially if you find yourself being the executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to proceed.