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 Walnut Creek, California, the estate is usually administered in a way that follows the instructions the will lays out, as closely as possible.
Wills usually name an executor. The executor's role revolves around guaranteeing that the instructions in the will are implemented.
The person named as executor of an estate normally has some work ahead of them. To ensure that they really follow through on their commitments, most people name as executor the person who will get the most money, or other benefit, if the will is given effect as written. Because an estate can't be distributed until the administration process is complete, the executor has an incentive to see it through.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a will in Walnut Creek, 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 usually the person who will benefit the most if the will is executed. If there is no will (a situation recognized as "intestacy"), California has a system of laws distributing the decedent's property to his or her closest living relative. In such a case, the closest living relative has the most to gain from an orderly administration of the estate, so they will usually be appointed.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a share in the will can apply to the court in Walnut Creek, California to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.
Whoever is assigned to serve as executor, it is their job to act as the representative of the estate. Among other jobs, they have to account for the decedent's debts and assets, and inform any beneficiaries who might be unaware of the situation.
Can a Walnut Creek, 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 seasoned Walnut Creek, California wills and trusts attorney.