When a person dies, a process recognized 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 person who died made and executed a valid will in Plymouth, North Carolina, the process of estate administration normally follows the procedures and instructions laid out in the will.
Commonly, the will appoints an executor whose job it is to oversee the administration of the will.
The executor is normally 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 Plymouth, North Carolina is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to determine who should serve in that capacity.
This is most commonly 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 govern 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 individual who has some direct interest in the result can ask to be named executor by the Plymouth, North Carolina court.
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 Plymouth, North Carolina 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 Plymouth, North Carolina lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-complicated process.