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 Rolling Hills Estates, California, the estate is typically administered in a way that follows the instructions the will lays out, as closely as possible.
Wills typically name an executor. The executor's role revolves around ensuring that the instructions in the will are implemented.
The executor is often the person who will get the most money or property out of the will if it is given effect, because this is the person who will have the greatest incentive to see that the probate process goes as quickly as possible.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a will in Rolling Hills Estates, California is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to decide who should serve in that capacity.
This is most often the person who would inherit most under the will, or under the intestacy scheme of California. 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.
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 Rolling Hills Estates, 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 Rolling Hills Estates, California 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 good Rolling Hills Estates, California wills and trusts attorney.