Estate Administration in Washington County, 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 Washington County, Arkansas, the process of estate administration typically follows the procedures and instructions laid out in the will.
Most frequently, a will names a person to serve as executor, whose job it is to guarantee that the estate is properly administered.
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 done.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a will in Washington County, 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.
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.
When a will is silent as to who should be the executor, any individual who has some direct interest in the result can ask to be named executor by the Washington County, Arkansas court.
When the executor is chosen, they serve as a sort of incarnation of the decedent's estate - the estate's legal interests become the executor's interests, and the executor is expected to safeguard the estate's interests as they would their own.
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Can a Washington County, 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 Washington County, Arkansas lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-convoluted process.