Estate Administration in Ozark, Alabama
Estate administration, in basic terms, is the process of maintenance and distribution of a person's assets after they die.
If the person who died made and executed a valid will in Ozark, Alabama, the process of estate administration normally follows the procedures and instructions laid out in the will.
Wills usually name an executor. The executor's role revolves around ensuring that the instructions in the will are implemented.
The executor is normally the person who stands to inherit the most money or property from the will, since this personn will have the greatest incentive to see the probate and administration process to completion.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a will in Ozark, Alabama is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to decide who should serve in that capacity.
This is usually the person who will benefit the most if the will is executed. If there is no will (a situation recognized as "intestacy"), Alabama has a system of laws distributing the decedent's property to his or her closest living relative. In such a situation, the closest living relative has the most to gain from an orderly administration of the estate, so they will usually be appointed.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a stake in the will can apply to the court in Ozark, Alabama to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.
Once an executor is appointed (whether by being named in the will, or on the application of another person), they "step into the shoes" of the estate, and are expected to protect its interests to the fullest extent possible. They also are required to accurately inventory the estate's debts and assets, as well as notify potential beneficiaries.
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Can a Ozark, Alabama Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you are the executor of an estate, and don't know how to handle some of the legal and financial intricacies that may arise, an accomplished Ozark, Alabama lawyer can make this process a great deal easier.