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 Hiawatha, 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 acquire 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 Hiawatha, Iowa is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to determine 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.
In cases where the will doesn't name an executor, or the person named is unable to take on that role for whatever reason, any person who has some direct share in the decedent's estate (either because they're named in the will or stand to inherit by intestacy) can petition a Hiawatha, Iowa court to be assigned executor.
When the executor is chosen, they serve as a sort of incarnation of the decedent's estate - the estate's legal interests become the executor's interests, and the executor is expected to safeguard the estate's interests as they would their own.
Can a Hiawatha, Iowa Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you are the administrator of an estate, and are not a legal and/or financial professional, you might confront legal or tax issues with which you are unfamiliar. A Hiawatha, Iowa attorney would be quite helpful in such a situation.