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 Maricopa, 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 Maricopa, Arizona will does not name an executor, or no will exists or can be found, it's up to the local court to determine who should be the executor.
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.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a share in the will can apply to the court in Maricopa, Arizona to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.
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 Maricopa, 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 Maricopa, Arizona lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-perplexing process.