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 West Palm 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 person named as executor of an estate typically has some work ahead of them. To ensure that they truly follow through on their obligations, 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 West Palm Beach, Florida 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.
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).
When a will is silent as to who should be the executor, any person who has some direct interest in the outcome can ask to be named executor by the West Palm Beach, Florida court.
Whoever is appointed to serve as executor, it is their job to act as the representative of the estate. Among other jobs, they have to account for the decedent's debts and assets, and inform any beneficiaries who might be unaware of the situation.
Can a West Palm Beach, 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 difficulties that may arise, an efficient West Palm Beach, Florida lawyer can make this process a great deal easier.