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 El Dorado, Arkansas, 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 guaranteeing that the instructions in the will are implemented.
The person named as executor of an estate normally has some work ahead of them. To ensure that they really follow through on their commitments, 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 will in El Dorado, Arkansas does not name a person to serve as executor, or the decedent dies without having written a will, the court will assign a person to act as estate administrator.
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"), Arkansas has a system of laws distributing the decedent's property to his or her closest living relative. In such a case, the closest living relative has the most to gain from an orderly administration of the estate, so they will usually be appointed.
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 El Dorado, 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.
Can a El Dorado, Arkansas Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you are the administrator of an estate, and are not a legal and/or financial professional, you might face legal or tax issues with which you are unfamiliar. An El Dorado, Arkansas attorney would be extremely helpful in such a situation.