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 Rifle, Colorado, the estate is usually administered in a way that follows the instructions the will lays out, as closely as possible.
Most often, a will names a person to serve as executor, whose job it is to ensure that the estate is properly administered.
The executor is commonly 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 Rifle, Colorado will does not name an executor, or no will exists or can be found, it's up to the local court to decide who should be the executor.
This is most commonly the person who would inherit most under the will, or under the intestacy scheme of Colorado. 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 govern how property is distributed in such a situation. In most states, it simply goes to the closest living relative.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a stake in the will can apply to the court in Rifle, Colorado to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.
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 protect the estate's interests as they would their own.
Can a Rifle, Colorado 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 Rifle, Colorado lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-perplexing process.