Estate administration, in basic terms, is the procedure of maintenance and distribution of a person's assets after they die.
If the decedent wrote a will before his or her death in Escambia County, Florida, the process will be carried out according to the directives included in the will, assuming they are legitimate and enforceable.
The decedent normally names in the will an executor of his or her estate. The executor is the person whose job it is to take the lead role in the administration of an estate.
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 Escambia County, Florida does not name a person to serve as executor, or the decedent dies without having written a will, the court will assign a person to act as estate administrator.
Normally, the person chosen to be executor is the one who would benefit most under the will, or under Florida'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.
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 Escambia County, Florida 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 Escambia County, Florida Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you are the executor of an estate, and don't know how to handle some of the legal and financial intricacies that may arise, an accomplished Escambia County, Florida lawyer can make this process a great deal easier.