Estate administration, in basic terms, is the procedure of maintenance and distribution of a person's assets after they die.

If the decedent has made a will in Centerville, Iowa, the process will play out according to the instructions specified in the will.

The decedent usually names in the will an executor of his or her estate. The executor is the person whose job it is to take the lead role in the administration of an estate.

The executor generally has at least some work cut out for them. This obviously raises the issue of compensation. The easiest way to guarantee that the executor does his or her job is simply to appoint the person who has the most to gain from the will. That way, they cannot inherit until the process is finalized.

What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?

If a Centerville, Iowa 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 typically the person who will benefit the most if the will is executed. If there is no will (a situation known as "intestacy"), Iowa has a system of laws distributing the decedent's property to his or her closest living relative. In such a case, the closest living relative has the most to gain from an orderly administration of the estate, so they will typically be appointed.

If the will doesn't name anyone as executor, or the individual who was named as executor is no longer living or cannot be found, anyone who has a direct interest in the will in Centerville, Iowa can apply to the court to be the executor.

Whoever ends up as the executor, it is their responsibility to serve as the personal representative of the estate. They will be accountable 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 Centerville, Iowa 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 reputable Centerville, Iowa attorney, the process almost always goes pretty smoothly.