When a person dies, a process known 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 decedent wrote a will before his or her death in Maple Shade, New Jersey, the process will be carried out according to the directives contained in the will, assuming they are valid and enforceable.

Often, the will appoints an executor whose job it is to oversee the administration of the will.

The executor generally has at least some work cut out for them. This obviously raises the issue of compensation. The easiest way to ensure that the executor does his or her job is simply to appoint the person who has the most to gain from the will. That way, they cannot inherit until the process is finished.

What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?

If a Maple Shade, New Jersey will does not appoint anyone to serve as executor, or there is no will, the court has to choose someone to fill that role.

Usually, this will be the person who has the most to gain from the will, or who would gain the most under New Jersey'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).

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 Maple Shade, New Jersey can apply to the court to be the executor.

Once an executor is finally named, he or she becomes responsible for serving as the living embodiment of the estate, using all legal means to protect the estate's interests (such as mounting plausible legal defenses against creditors).

Can a Maple Shade, New Jersey 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 complexities that may arise, an experienced Maple Shade, New Jersey lawyer can make this process a great deal easier.