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 Fort Bragg, 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 whoever stands to obtain the most money or property if the will is given effect, since that is the person who likely has the most incentive to do their part in seeing that the probate process plays out to completion.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If the will in Fort Bragg, 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.
Normally, this will be the person who has the most to receive from the will, or who would gain the most under California's intestacy scheme (the system that distributes the decedent's property to his or her closest living relatives, if he or she dies without a will).
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 Fort Bragg, California court.
Once an executor is appointed (whether by being named in the will, or on the application of another person), they "step into the shoes" of the estate, and are expected to protect its interests to the fullest extent possible. They also are required to accurately inventory the estate's debts and assets, as well as notify potential beneficiaries.
Can a Fort Bragg, California Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you are the administrator of an estate, and are not a legal and/or financial professional, you might face legal or tax issues with which you are unfamiliar. A Fort Bragg, California attorney would be extremely helpful in such a situation.