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 Burlington County, New Jersey, the process of estate administration normally follows the procedures and instructions laid out in the will.
Most often, a will names a person to serve as executor, whose job it is to ensure that the estate is properly administered.
The executor is normally whoever stands to obtain 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 a will in Burlington County, New Jersey is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to decide who should serve in that capacity.
This is usually the person who will benefit the most if the will is executed. If there is no will (a situation recognized as "intestacy"), New Jersey has a system of laws distributing the decedent's property to his or her closest living relative. In such a situation, the closest living relative has the most to gain from an orderly administration of the estate, so they will usually be appointed.
If the will doesn't name anyone as executor, or the person who was named as executor is no longer living or cannot be found, anyone who has a direct interest in the will in Burlington County, New Jersey can apply to the court to be the executor.
Whoever is appointed 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 Burlington County, New Jersey Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you are the administrator of an estate, and are not a legal and/or financial professional, you might face legal or tax issues with which you are unfamiliar. A Burlington County, New Jersey attorney would be extremely helpful in such a situation.