A will is not valid until it is “activated” by the court. Just because someone is nominated in the will to be the executor does not automatically mean that they will be appointed by the court. Some examples of people who are not fit to be executors: convicted felons, people who do not reside in this country, people who are not able to obtain a bond if one is set by the court.
Proper paperwork needs to be filed, the decedent’s potential heirs notified even if they are not in the will, and the judge will examine the will and is only going to approve it and appoint the executor if they find that the will is authentic. This process is relatively straightforward but may take years if the will is contested. Sometimes, the will is declared void.
Until this process is complete, the executor nominated in the will has no power to do anything on behalf of the estate. If something in the estate needs to be taken care of, the court may appoint a temporary administrator to take care of the estate while the will contest is proceeding. If you need a New York City estate attorney for probating a will, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233.