Estate Administration in Benton, Arkansas
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 Benton, Arkansas, the process of estate administration typically follows the procedures and instructions laid out in the will.
Wills normally name an executor. The executor's role revolves around guaranteeing that the instructions in the will are implemented.
The executor usually has at least some work cut out for them. This apparently raises the issue of compensation. The easiest way to guarantee that the executor does his or her job is simply to appoint the person who has the most to gain from the will. That way, they cannot inherit until the process is finalized.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a Benton, Arkansas will does not assign anyone to serve as executor, or there is no will, the court has to choose someone to fill that role.
Typically, the person chosen to be executor is the one who would benefit most under the will, or under Arkansas's intestacy laws. "Intestacy" refers to a situation in which a person dies without a will, or "dies intestate." Every state has laws to address this situation, and there isn't a lot of variation from state to state. Typically, the decedent's property will go to his or her closest relative, and if absolutely no living relatives can be found, it will go to the state.
If the will doesn't name a person who is to serve as executor, or the individual named is no longer alive or cannot be found, anyone with a direct interest in the will can apply to the Benton, Arkansas court to be the executor.
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.
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Can a Benton, Arkansas 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 efficient Benton, Arkansas lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-convoluted process.