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 Cottonwood, Arizona, the process of estate administration usually follows the procedures and instructions laid out in the will.
Most commonly, a will names a person to serve as executor, whose job it is to guarantee that the estate is properly administered.
The executor generally has at least some work cut out for them. This obviously 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 Cottonwood, Arizona will does not assign anyone to serve as executor, or there is no will, the court has to choose someone to fill that role.
Usually, the person chosen to be executor is the one who would benefit most under the will, or under Arizona'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. Usually, 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 anyone as executor, or the individual who was named as executor is no longer living or cannot be found, anyone who has a direct interest in the will in Cottonwood, Arizona can apply to the court to be the executor.
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.
Can a Cottonwood, Arizona 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 experienced Cottonwood, Arizona lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-confusing process.