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 Palm Beach County, Florida, the process will be carried out according to the directives included in the will, assuming they are legitimate and enforceable.
Typically, wills assign 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 frequently 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 rapidly as possible.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a Palm Beach County, Florida will does not name an executor, or no will exists or can be found, it's up to the local court to determine who should be the executor.
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.
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 Palm Beach 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 Palm Beach County, 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 Palm Beach County, Florida attorney would be quite helpful in such a situation.