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 Clarke County, Georgia, the process will be carried out according to the directives contained in the will, assuming they are valid and enforceable.
Most commonly, a will names a person to serve as executor, whose job it is to ensure that the estate is properly administered.
The executor is usually 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 will in Clarke County, Georgia is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to decide who should serve in that capacity.
Usually, the person chosen to be executor is the one who would benefit most under the will, or under Georgia'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. Usually, 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.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a stake in the will can apply to the court in Clarke County, Georgia 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 Clarke County, Georgia Estate Administration Attorney Help?
Some people are surprised when they find out they've been named the executor of a relative's estate. The responsibilities can seem daunting, but with the help of a good Clarke County, Georgia attorney, the process almost always goes pretty smoothly.