When a person dies, a process identified as "estate administration" must be carried out. This refers to all the processes 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 Chapel Hill North Carolina 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 guarantee that the estate is properly administered.
The executor is typically whoever stands to acquire 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 Chapel Hill, North Carolina 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 frequently the person who would inherit most under the will, or under the intestacy scheme of North Carolina. 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 control 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 Chapel Hill, North Carolina 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 Chapel Hill, North Carolina Estate Administration Attorney Help?
Some people are surprised when they find out they've been named the executor of a relative's estate. The responsibilities can seem daunting, but with the help of a reliable Chapel Hill, North Carolina attorney, the process almost always goes pretty smoothly.