Estate administration, in basic terms, is the process of maintenance and distribution of a person's assets after they die.
If the decedent has made a will in Clear Lake, Iowa, the process will play out according to the instructions mentioned in the will.
The decedent normally 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 typically has at least some work cut out for them. This evidently raises the issue of compensation. The easiest way to ensure 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 finished.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a Clear Lake, Iowa 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.
This is most commonly the person who would inherit most under the will, or under the intestacy scheme of Iowa. 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 govern 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 Clear Lake, Iowa 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 Clear Lake, Iowa 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 accomplished Clear Lake, Iowa lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-perplexing process.