"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 Willow Springs Illinois will usually be carried out according to the instructions 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 Willow Springs, 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, the person chosen to be executor is the one who would benefit most under the will, or under Illinois's intestacy laws. "Intestacy" refers to a situation in which a person dies without a will, or "dies intestate." Every state has laws to address this situation, and there isn't a lot of variation from state to state. Usually, the decedent's property will go to his or her closest relative, and if absolutely no living relatives can be found, it will go to the state.

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 Willow Springs, 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 Willow Springs, Illinois Estate Administration Attorney Help?

If you are the administrator of an estate, and are not a legal and/or financial professional, you might encounter legal or tax issues with which you are unfamiliar. A Willow Springs, Illinois attorney would be very helpful in such a situation.