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 Columbia 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 Columbia 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.
This is most often the person who would inherit most under the will, or under the intestacy scheme of Georgia. Intestacy is when a person dies without having made a will, or if a will turns out to be invalid. The intestacy laws of each state determine how property is distributed in such a situation. In most states, it simply goes to the closest living relative.
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 Columbia County, Georgia court.
Whoever ends up as the executor, it is their responsibility to serve as the personal representative of the estate. They will be responsible for taking account of all of the decedent's assets and debts, as well as notifying beneficiaries who may be estranged from the decedent, among other things.
Can a Columbia County, Georgia 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 experienced Columbia County, Georgia lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-perplexing process.