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 Fargo, North Dakota, the process of estate administration usually follows the procedures and instructions laid out in the will.
Wills typically name an executor. The executor's role revolves around guaranteeing that the instructions in the will are implemented.
The executor is usually the person who stands to inherit the most money or property from the will, since this individualn will have the greatest incentive to see the probate and administration process to completion.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a Fargo, North Dakota will does not assign anyone to serve as executor, or there is no will, the court has to choose someone to fill that role.
This is most often the person who would inherit most under the will, or under the intestacy scheme of North Dakota. 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 determine 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 Fargo, North Dakota court to be the executor.
Whoever is assigned to serve as executor, it is their job to act as the representative of the estate. Among other jobs, they have to account for the decedent's debts and assets, and inform any beneficiaries who might be unaware of the situation.
Can a Fargo, North Dakota Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you have unexpectedly been appointed to be the executor of a relative's estate, and don't know how to handle this process, you should speak with a reputable Fargo, North Dakota wills and trusts attorney.