"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 Baltimore County, Maryland, the process will be carried out according to the directives contained in the will, assuming they are valid 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 obligations, 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 Baltimore County, Maryland will does not name an executor, or no will exists or can be found, it's up to the local court to decide who should be the executor.
This is most frequently the person who stands to gain the most from the will, or who would inherit the most under Maryland's intestacy laws. Intestacy is the system that every state has in order to deal with the property of people who die without a will. It typically distributes the property to the closest living relatives of the decedent, assuming they can be located.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a stake in the will can apply to the court in Baltimore County, Maryland to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.
Whoever is appointed to serve as executor, it is their job to act as the representative of the estate. Among other jobs, they have to account for the decedent's debts and assets, and inform any beneficiaries who might be unaware of the situation.
Can a Baltimore County, Maryland Estate Administration Attorney Help?
Some people are surprised when they find out they've been named the executor of a relative's estate. The responsibilities can seem daunting, but with the help of a knowledgeable Baltimore County, Maryland attorney, the process almost always goes pretty smoothly.