When a person dies, a process identified as "estate administration" must be carried out. This refers to all the procedures which must be followed in distributing a person's estate to their heirs or devisees.
If the decedent (the person who died) left a will, the process of estate administration in Missoula Montana will typically be carried out according to the instructions in the will.
Most frequently, a will names a person to serve as executor, whose job it is to ensure that the estate is properly administered.
The executor is frequently 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 quickly as possible.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a Missoula, Montana will does not name an executor, or no will exists or can be found, it's up to the local court to decide who should be the executor.
This is most frequently the person who stands to gain the most from the will, or who would inherit the most under Montana'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 typically distributes the property to the closest living relatives of the decedent, assuming they can be located.
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 Missoula, Montana court.
Once an executor is appointed (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 protect its interests to the fullest extent possible. They also are required to accurately inventory the estate's debts and assets, as well as notify potential beneficiaries.
Can a Missoula, Montana 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 efficient Missoula, Montana lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-confusing process.