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 person who died made and executed a valid will in Southern Pines, North Carolina, the process of estate administration typically follows the procedures and instructions laid out in the will.
Frequently, the will appoints an executor whose job it is to oversee the administration of the will.
The person named as executor of an estate typically has some work ahead of them. To ensure that they truly follow through on their obligations, most people name as executor the person who will get the most money, or other benefit, if the will is given effect as written. Because an estate can't be distributed until the administration process is complete, the executor has an incentive to see it through.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a Southern Pines, North Carolina will does not appoint anyone to serve as executor, or there is no will, the court has to choose someone to fill that role.
Typically, this will be the person who has the most to acquire 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).
In cases where the will doesn't name an executor, or the person named is unable to take on that role for whatever reason, any person who has some direct stake in the decedent's estate (either because they're named in the will or stand to inherit by intestacy) can petition a Southern Pines, North Carolina court to be appointed executor.
When the executor is chosen, they serve as a sort of incarnation of the decedent's estate - the estate's legal interests become the executor's interests, and the executor is expected to protect the estate's interests as they would their own.
Can a Southern Pines, North Carolina Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you are the administrator of an estate, and are not a legal and/or financial professional, you might confront legal or tax issues with which you are unfamiliar. A Southern Pines, North Carolina attorney would be quite helpful in such a situation.