"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 had the foresight to draft and execute a will in St. Martinville, Louisiana, the estate is normally administered in a way that follows the instructions the will lays out, as closely as possible.
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 is typically whoever stands to acquire the most money or property if the will is given effect, since that is the person who likely has the most incentive to do their part in seeing that the probate process plays out to completion.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a will in St. Martinville, Louisiana is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to determine who should serve in that capacity.
Typically, this will be the person who has the most to acquire from the will, or who would gain the most under Louisiana'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).
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. Martinville, Louisiana court to be assigned 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 St. Martinville, Louisiana Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you are the administrator of an estate, and are not a legal and/or financial professional, you might confront legal or tax issues with which you are unfamiliar. A St. Martinville, Louisiana attorney would be quite helpful in such a situation.