"Estate administration" refers to the process which must be followed when the estate of a person who has recently died is being distributed, either according to his or her wishes as laid out in a will, or the laws governing the distribution of the assets of a person who dies without a will.

If the decedent (the person who died) left a will, the process of estate administration in Harrisburg Illinois will usually be carried out according to the instructions in the will.

Usually, 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 often the person who will get the most money or property out of the will if it is given effect, because this is the person who will have the greatest incentive to see that the probate process goes as quickly as possible.

What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?

If a Harrisburg, Illinois 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 most often the person who stands to gain the most from the will, or who would inherit the most under Illinois's intestacy laws. Intestacy is the system that every state has in order to deal with the property of people who die without a will. It usually distributes the property to the closest living relatives of the decedent, assuming they can be located.

If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a stake in the will can apply to the court in Harrisburg, Illinois 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 Harrisburg, 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 Harrisburg, Illinois lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-perplexing process.