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 Johnston, 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 the will in Johnston, Iowa does not name an executor, or the decedent left no will to be found, the court has to assign a person to serve as the administrator of the estate.
This is normally the person who will benefit the most if the will is executed. If there is no will (a situation identified 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 normally be appointed.
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 Johnston, Iowa court to be assigned 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 Johnston, 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 Johnston, Iowa lawyer can make this process a great deal easier.