Estate administration, in basic terms, is the procedure 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 Sacramento County, 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 guaranteeing 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 rapidly as possible.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a will in Sacramento County, California is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to determine 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.
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 Sacramento County, California court to be assigned executor.
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 Sacramento County, California Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you are the administrator of an estate, and are not a legal and/or financial professional, you might encounter legal or tax issues with which you are unfamiliar. A Sacramento County, California attorney would be very helpful in such a situation.