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 San Rafael, 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 the will in San Rafael, California does not name an executor, or the decedent left no will to be found, the court has to assign a person to serve as the administrator of the estate.
This is most often 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 usually 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 individual who has some direct interest in the result can ask to be named executor by the San Rafael, California court.
Once an executor is assigned (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 safeguard its interests to the fullest extent possible. They further are obligated to accurately inventory the estate's debts and assets, as well as notify possible beneficiaries.
Can a San Rafael, 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 San Rafael, California attorney would be very helpful in such a situation.