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 Flagstaff, 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 done.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a Flagstaff, 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.
This is most often the person who would inherit most under the will, or under the intestacy scheme of Arizona. Intestacy is when a person dies without having made a will, or if a will turns out to be invalid. The intestacy laws of each state determine how property is distributed in such a situation. In most states, it simply goes to the closest living relative.
In cases where the will doesn't name an executor, or the person named is unable to take on that role for whatever reason, any person who has some direct share in the decedent's estate (either because they're named in the will or stand to inherit by intestacy) can petition a Flagstaff, Arizona court to be assigned executor.
Once an executor is finally named, he or she becomes responsible for serving as the living embodiment of the estate, utilizing all legal means to protect the estate's interests (such as mounting plausible legal defenses against creditors).
Can a Flagstaff, Arizona Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you have unexpectedly been appointed to be the executor of a relative's estate, and don't know how to handle this process, you should speak with a reputable Flagstaff, Arizona wills and trusts attorney.