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 Fort Walton Beach, Florida, the process will be carried out according to the directives included in the will, assuming they are legitimate and enforceable.
The decedent typically 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 typically has some work ahead of them. To ensure that they truly 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 Fort Walton Beach, Florida is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to determine who should serve in that capacity.
Typically, this will be the person who has the most to acquire from the will, or who would gain the most under Florida's intestacy scheme (the system that distributes the decedent's property to his or her closest living relatives, if he or she dies without a will).
If the will doesn't name anyone as executor, or the individual who was named as executor is no longer living or cannot be found, anyone who has a direct interest in the will in Fort Walton Beach, Florida can apply to the court to be the executor.
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 safeguard the estate's interests as they would their own.
Can a Fort Walton Beach, Florida Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you are the administrator of an estate, and are not a legal and/or financial professional, you might confront legal or tax issues with which you are unfamiliar. A Fort Walton Beach, Florida attorney would be quite helpful in such a situation.