"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 Dewitt, Michigan, 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 typically has at least some work cut out for them. This evidently raises the issue of compensation. The easiest way to guarantee that the executor does his or her job is simply to appoint the person who has the most to gain from the will. That way, they cannot inherit until the process is finalized.

What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?

If a Dewitt, Michigan will does not assign anyone to serve as executor, or there is no will, the court has to choose someone to fill that role.

Normally, the person chosen to be executor is the one who would benefit most under the will, or under Michigan's intestacy laws. "Intestacy" refers to a situation in which a person dies without a will, or "dies intestate." Every state has laws to address this situation, and there isn't a lot of variation from state to state. Normally, the decedent's property will go to his or her closest relative, and if absolutely no living relatives can be found, it will go to the state.

If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a share in the will can apply to the court in Dewitt, Michigan to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.

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 Dewitt, Michigan 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 Dewitt, Michigan lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-difficult process.