"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. Joseph County Indiana will typically be carried out according to the instructions in the will.
Most frequently, a will names a person to serve as executor, whose job it is to guarantee that the estate is properly administered.
The executor usually has at least some work cut out for them. This apparently 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 St. Joseph County, Indiana 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.
This is normally the person who will benefit the most if the will is executed. If there is no will (a situation identified as "intestacy"), Indiana has a system of laws distributing the decedent's property to his or her closest living relative. In such a case, the closest living relative has the most to gain from an orderly administration of the estate, so they will normally be appointed.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a share in the will can apply to the court in St. Joseph County, Indiana to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.
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 St. Joseph County, Indiana Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you are the executor of an estate, and don't know how to handle some of the legal and financial difficulties that may arise, an efficient St. Joseph County, Indiana lawyer can make this process a great deal easier.