"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 wrote a will before his or her death in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, the process will be carried out according to the directives included in the will, assuming they are legitimate and enforceable.
Frequently, the will appoints an executor whose job it is to oversee the administration of the will.
The person named as executor of an estate typically has some work ahead of them. To ensure that they truly follow through on their commitments, most people name as executor the person who will get the most money, or other benefit, if the will is given effect as written. Because an estate can't be distributed until the administration process is complete, the executor has an incentive to see it through.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a will in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts 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 normally the person who will benefit the most if the will is executed. If there is no will (a situation identified as "intestacy"), Massachusetts 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 the will doesn't name anyone as executor, or the individual who was named as executor is no longer living or cannot be found, anyone who has a direct interest in the will in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts can apply to the court to be the 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 West Bridgewater, Massachusetts Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you find yourself named in a will as executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to meet your responsibilities, or where to begin, it would be a good idea to consult with an efficient West Bridgewater, Massachusetts lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-difficult process.