"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 Wilton, Maine, the process will be carried out according to the directives included in the will, assuming they are legitimate and enforceable.
Most often, a will names a person to serve as executor, whose job it is to guarantee that the estate is properly administered.
The executor is commonly the person who will get the most money or property out of the will if it is given effect, because this is the person who will have the greatest incentive to see that the probate process goes as rapidly as possible.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a will in Wilton, Maine does not name a person to serve as executor, or the decedent dies without having written a will, the court will assign a person to act as estate administrator.
This is most commonly the person who would inherit most under the will, or under the intestacy scheme of Maine. 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.
If the will doesn't name a person who is to serve as executor, or the individual named is no longer alive or cannot be found, anyone with a direct interest in the will can apply to the Wilton, Maine 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 Wilton, Maine 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 accomplished Wilton, Maine lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-complicated process.