"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 Kennebunk, Maine, the process will be carried out according to the directives included in the will, assuming they are legitimate and enforceable.
Most commonly, a will names a person to serve as executor, whose job it is to guarantee that the estate is properly administered.
The executor is usually 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 Kennebunk, Maine 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 often the person who stands to gain the most from the will, or who would inherit the most under Maine'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 usually distributes the property to the closest living relatives of the decedent, assuming they can be located.
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 Kennebunk, Maine 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 Kennebunk, Maine 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 Kennebunk, Maine attorney would be very helpful in such a situation.