"Estate administration" refers to the procedure 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 regulating 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 Peoria Heights Illinois will normally be carried out according to the instructions in the will.
Normally, wills assign 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 person named as executor of an estate normally has some work ahead of them. To ensure that they really follow through on their commitments, most people name as executor the person who will get the most money, or other benefit, if the will is given effect as written. Because an estate can't be distributed until the administration process is complete, the executor has an incentive to see it through.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a Peoria Heights, Illinois will does not name an executor, or no will exists or can be found, it's up to the local court to determine who should be the executor.
Normally, this will be the person who has the most to receive 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).
When a will is silent as to who should be the executor, any individual who has some direct interest in the result can ask to be named executor by the Peoria Heights, Illinois court.
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 Peoria Heights, 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 accomplished Peoria Heights, Illinois lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-convoluted process.