"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 Columbia, Maryland, the process will be carried out according to the directives included in the will, assuming they are legitimate and enforceable.
Normally, wills assign an executor who is responsible for overseeing the administration of the estate, and seeing that its provisions are carried out, to the extent possible.
The executor is normally the person who stands to inherit the most money or property from the will, since this individualn will have the greatest incentive to see the probate and administration process to completion.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a Columbia, Maryland will does not assign anyone to serve as executor, or there is no will, the court has to choose someone to fill that role.
This is most commonly the person who would inherit most under the will, or under the intestacy scheme of Maryland. Intestacy is when a person dies without having made a will, or if a will turns out to be invalid. The intestacy laws of each state govern how property is distributed in such a situation. In most states, it simply goes to the closest living relative.
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 Columbia, Maryland court to be assigned 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 safeguard the estate's interests as they would their own.
Can a Columbia, Maryland Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you are the administrator of an estate, and are not a legal and/or financial professional, you might face legal or tax issues with which you are unfamiliar. A Columbia, Maryland attorney would be extremely helpful in such a situation.