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 Deerfield, Illinois, the process will play out according to the instructions specified in the will.

Wills typically name an executor. The executor's role revolves around guaranteeing that the instructions in the will are implemented.

The executor generally has at least some work cut out for them. This obviously raises the issue of compensation. The easiest way to guarantee 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 done.

What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?

If a Deerfield, Illinois will does not assign anyone to serve as executor, or there is no will, the court has to choose someone to fill that role.

Usually, this will be the person who has the most to gain from the will, or who would gain the most under Illinois's intestacy scheme (the system that distributes the decedent's property to his or her closest living relatives, if he or she dies without a will).

If the will doesn't name a person who is to serve as executor, or the individual named is no longer alive or cannot be found, anyone with a direct interest in the will can apply to the Deerfield, Illinois court to be the executor.

Once an executor is assigned (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 safeguard its interests to the fullest extent possible. They further are obligated to accurately inventory the estate's debts and assets, as well as notify possible beneficiaries.

Can a Deerfield, Illinois 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 experienced Deerfield, Illinois lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-convoluted process.