When a person dies, a process known 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 Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, the process of estate administration usually follows the procedures and instructions laid out 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 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 the will in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina does not name an executor, or the decedent left no will to be found, the court has to assign a person to serve as the administrator of the estate.
Usually, this will be the person who has the most to gain from the will, or who would gain the most under North Carolina's intestacy scheme (the system that distributes the decedent's property to his or her closest living relatives, if he or she dies without a will).
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 Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina court to be the executor.
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 Roanoke Rapids, 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 reputable Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina attorney, the process almost always goes pretty smoothly.