"Estate administration" refers to the process 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 governing the distribution of the assets of a person who dies without a will.
If the decedent wrote a will before his or her death in Harwich, Massachusetts, the process will be carried out according to the directives contained in the will, assuming they are valid and enforceable.
Often, the will appoints an executor whose job it is to oversee the administration of the will.
The executor generally has at least some work cut out for them. This obviously raises the issue of compensation. The easiest way to ensure 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 completed.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a Harwich, Massachusetts will does not appoint anyone to serve as executor, or there is no will, the court has to choose someone to fill that role.
Usually, this will be the person who has the most to gain from the will, or who would gain the most under Massachusetts'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).
If the will doesn't name anyone as executor, or the person who was named as executor is no longer living or cannot be found, anyone who has a direct interest in the will in Harwich, Massachusetts can apply to the court to be the executor.
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 protect the estate's interests as they would their own.
Can a Harwich, Massachusetts 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 Harwich, Massachusetts attorney would be very helpful in such a situation.