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 Grand Forks, 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 will in Grand Forks, North Dakota is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to determine who should serve in that capacity.
Usually, the person chosen to be executor is the one who would benefit most under the will, or under North Dakota's intestacy laws. "Intestacy" refers to a situation in which a person dies without a will, or "dies intestate." Every state has laws to address this situation, and there isn't a lot of variation from state to state. Usually, the decedent's property will go to his or her closest relative, and if absolutely no living relatives can be found, it will go to the state.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a share in the will can apply to the court in Grand Forks, North Dakota to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.
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 Grand Forks, North Dakota 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 Grand Forks, North Dakota attorney, the process almost always goes pretty smoothly.