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 Madison, Alabama, the process of estate administration normally follows the procedures and instructions laid out in the will.
Normally, wills appoint an executor who is responsible for overseeing the administration of the estate, and seeing that its provisions are carried out, to the extent possible.
The person named as executor of an estate normally has some work ahead of them. To ensure that they really follow through on their obligations, most people name as executor the person who will get the most money, or other benefit, if the will is given effect as written. Because an estate can't be distributed until the administration process is complete, the executor has an incentive to see it through.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a Madison, Alabama will does not name an executor, or no will exists or can be found, it's up to the local court to decide who should be the executor.
This is most commonly the person who stands to gain the most from the will, or who would inherit the most under Alabama's intestacy laws. Intestacy is the system that every state has in order to deal with the property of people who die without a will. It normally distributes the property to the closest living relatives of the decedent, assuming they can be located.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a stake in the will can apply to the court in Madison, Alabama to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.
Once an executor is finally named, he or she becomes responsible for serving as the living embodiment of the estate, using all legal means to protect the estate's interests (such as mounting plausible legal defenses against creditors).
Can a Madison, Alabama Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you find yourself named in a will as executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to meet your responsibilities, or where to begin, it would be a good idea to consult with an accomplished Madison, Alabama lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-confusing process.