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 Harlan, Iowa, the process will play out according to the instructions stated in the will.
The decedent typically 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 is typically whoever stands to obtain the most money or property if the will is given effect, since that is the person who likely has the most incentive to do their part in seeing that the probate process plays out to completion.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a will in Harlan, Iowa 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 frequently 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 control how property is distributed in such a situation. In most states, it simply goes to the closest living relative.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a stake in the will can apply to the court in Harlan, Iowa to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.
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 Harlan, Iowa 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 Harlan, Iowa lawyer can make this process a great deal easier.