Estate administration, in basic terms, is the process of maintenance and distribution of a person's assets after they die.
If the decedent wrote a will before his or her death in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, the process will be carried out according to the directives contained in the will, assuming they are valid and enforceable.
Typically, wills appoint an executor who is responsible for overseeing the administration of the estate, and seeing that its provisions are carried out, to the extent possible.
The executor is typically the person who stands to inherit the most money or property from the will, since this personn will have the greatest incentive to see the probate and administration process to completion.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a Jacksonville Beach, Florida will does not appoint anyone to serve as executor, or there is no will, the court has to choose someone to fill that role.
This is most frequently the person who stands to gain the most from the will, or who would inherit the most under Florida's intestacy laws. Intestacy is the system that every state has in order to deal with the property of people who die without a will. It typically distributes the property to the closest living relatives of the decedent, assuming they can be located.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a stake in the will can apply to the court in Jacksonville Beach, Florida to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.
Once an executor is appointed (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 protect its interests to the fullest extent possible. They also are required to accurately inventory the estate's debts and assets, as well as notify potential beneficiaries.
Can a Jacksonville Beach, Florida 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 efficient Jacksonville Beach, Florida lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-difficult process.