"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 has made a will in St. Joseph, Michigan, the process will play out according to the instructions specified in the will.
Often, the will appoints an executor whose job it is to oversee the administration of the will.
The executor is usually whoever stands to obtain the most money or property if the will is given effect, since that is the person who likely has the most incentive to do their part in seeing that the probate process plays out to completion.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a will in St. Joseph, Michigan is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to decide who should serve in that capacity.
This is most often the person who would inherit most under the will, or under the intestacy scheme of Michigan. 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 determine how property is distributed in such a situation. In most states, it simply goes to the closest living relative.
When a will is silent as to who should be the executor, any person who has some direct interest in the outcome can ask to be named executor by the St. Joseph, Michigan court.
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 St. Joseph, Michigan 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 St. Joseph, Michigan attorney would be very helpful in such a situation.