Estate administration, in basic terms, is the process of maintenance and distribution of a person's assets after they die.
If the decedent had the foresight to draft and execute a will in Clayton, California, the estate is usually administered in a way that follows the instructions the will lays out, as closely as possible.
The decedent normally names in the will an executor of his or her estate. The executor is the person whose job it is to take the lead role in the administration of an estate.
The executor is normally the person who stands to inherit the most money or property from the will, since this personn will have the greatest incentive to see the probate and administration process to completion.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If the will in Clayton, California does not name an executor, or the decedent left no will to be found, the court has to appoint a person to serve as the administrator of the estate.
This is most commonly the person who stands to gain the most from the will, or who would inherit the most under California's intestacy laws. Intestacy is the system that every state has in order to deal with the property of people who die without a will. It normally distributes the property to the closest living relatives of the decedent, assuming they can be located.
When a will is silent as to who should be the executor, any person who has some direct interest in the outcome can ask to be named executor by the Clayton, California court.
Whoever ends up as the executor, it is their responsibility to serve as the personal representative of the estate. They will be responsible for taking account of all of the decedent's assets and debts, as well as notifying beneficiaries who may be estranged from the decedent, among other things.
Can a Clayton, California 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 accomplished Clayton, California lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-difficult process.