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 decedent wrote a will before his or her death in Pitman, New Jersey, the process will be carried out according to the directives included in the will, assuming they are legitimate 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 guarantee 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 finalized.

What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?

If the will in Pitman, New Jersey does not name an executor, or the decedent left no will to be found, the court has to assign a person to serve as the administrator of the estate.

This is typically the person who will benefit the most if the will is executed. If there is no will (a situation known as "intestacy"), New Jersey has a system of laws distributing the decedent's property to his or her closest living relative. In such a case, the closest living relative has the most to gain from an orderly administration of the estate, so they will typically be appointed.

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 Pitman, New Jersey court to be the executor.

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 Pitman, New Jersey 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 Pitman, New Jersey attorney, the process almost always goes pretty smoothly.