"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 St. Clair County Illinois will normally be carried out according to the instructions in the will.
Wills usually name an executor. The executor's role revolves around guaranteeing that the instructions in the will are implemented.
The executor is commonly 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 rapidly as possible.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a will in St. Clair County, Illinois is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to determine who should serve in that capacity.
This is most commonly the person who would inherit most under the will, or under the intestacy scheme of Illinois. Intestacy is when a person dies without having made a will, or if a will turns out to be invalid. The intestacy laws of each state govern how property is distributed in such a situation. In most states, it simply goes to the closest living relative.
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 St. Clair County, Illinois 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 St. Clair County, Illinois Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you have unexpectedly been appointed to be the executor of a relative's estate, and don't know how to handle this process, you should speak with a seasoned St. Clair County, Illinois wills and trusts attorney.