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 Westminster, 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 Westminster, California is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to determine who should serve in that capacity.
Normally, the person chosen to be executor is the one who would benefit most under the will, or under California's intestacy laws. "Intestacy" refers to a situation in which a person dies without a will, or "dies intestate." Every state has laws to address this situation, and there isn't a lot of variation from state to state. Normally, the decedent's property will go to his or her closest relative, and if absolutely no living relatives can be found, it will go to the state.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a share in the will can apply to the court in Westminster, California to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.
Once an executor is finally named, he or she becomes responsible for serving as the living embodiment of the estate, utilizing all legal means to protect the estate's interests (such as mounting plausible legal defenses against creditors).
Can a Westminster, California Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you find yourself named in a will as executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to meet your responsibilities, or where to begin, it would be a good idea to consult with an accomplished Westminster, California lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-confusing process.