When a person dies, a process recognized 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 Cozad, Nebraska, the process of estate administration normally follows the procedures and instructions laid out in the will.
Wills usually name an executor. The executor's role revolves around ensuring that the instructions in the will are implemented.
The person named as executor of an estate normally has some work ahead of them. To ensure that they really 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 will in Cozad, Nebraska does not name a person to serve as executor, or the decedent dies without having written a will, the court will appoint a person to act as estate administrator.
This is most commonly the person who stands to gain the most from the will, or who would inherit the most under Nebraska's intestacy laws. Intestacy is the system that every state has in order to deal with the property of people who die without a will. It normally distributes the property to the closest living relatives of the decedent, assuming they can be located.
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 Cozad, Nebraska court to be appointed executor.
Once an executor is appointed (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 protect its interests to the fullest extent possible. They also are required to accurately inventory the estate's debts and assets, as well as notify potential beneficiaries.
Can a Cozad, Nebraska Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you are the executor of an estate, and don't know how to handle some of the legal and financial intricacies that may arise, an accomplished Cozad, Nebraska lawyer can make this process a great deal easier.