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 Maquoketa, Iowa, the process will play out according to the instructions mentioned in the will.
Normally, wills appoint an executor who is responsible for overseeing the administration of the estate, and seeing that its provisions are carried out, to the extent possible.
The executor is normally the person who stands to inherit the most money or property from the will, since this personn will have the greatest incentive to see the probate and administration process to completion.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a Maquoketa, 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 usually the person who will benefit the most if the will is executed. If there is no will (a situation recognized as "intestacy"), Iowa has a system of laws distributing the decedent's property to his or her closest living relative. In such a situation, the closest living relative has the most to gain from an orderly administration of the estate, so they will usually be appointed.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a stake in the will can apply to the court in Maquoketa, Iowa to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.
Once an executor is appointed (whether by being named in the will, or on the application of another person), they "step into the shoes" of the estate, and are expected to protect its interests to the fullest extent possible. They also are required to accurately inventory the estate's debts and assets, as well as notify potential beneficiaries.
Can a Maquoketa, 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 Maquoketa, Iowa lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-convoluted process.