Estate administration, in basic terms, is the procedure of maintenance and distribution of a person's assets after they die.
If the person who died made and executed a valid will in Smiths Station, Alabama, the process of estate administration usually follows the procedures and instructions laid out in the will.
Wills typically name an executor. The executor's role revolves around guaranteeing that the instructions in the will are implemented.
The executor is usually the person who stands to inherit the most money or property from the will, since this individualn will have the greatest incentive to see the probate and administration process to completion.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If the will in Smiths Station, Alabama does not name an executor, or the decedent left no will to be found, the court has to assign a person to serve as the administrator of the estate.
This is most often 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 usually 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 share in the will can apply to the court in Smiths Station, Alabama to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.
Once an executor is assigned (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 safeguard its interests to the fullest extent possible. They further are obligated to accurately inventory the estate's debts and assets, as well as notify possible beneficiaries.
Can a Smiths Station, Alabama Estate Administration Attorney Help?
Some people are surprised when they find out they've been named the executor of a relative's estate. The responsibilities can seem daunting, but with the help of a reputable Smiths Station, Alabama attorney, the process almost always goes pretty smoothly.