When a person dies, a process recognized 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 Wildwood, New Jersey, the process will be carried out according to the directives included in the will, assuming they are legitimate and enforceable.

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

The person named as executor of an estate normally has some work ahead of them. To ensure that they really follow through on their commitments, 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 Wildwood, New Jersey is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to determine who should serve in that capacity.

Normally, the person chosen to be executor is the one who would benefit most under the will, or under New Jersey'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. Normally, 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 the will doesn't name anyone as executor, or the individual who was named as executor is no longer living or cannot be found, anyone who has a direct interest in the will in Wildwood, New Jersey can apply to the court to be the executor.

Whoever ends up as the executor, it is their responsibility to serve as the personal representative of the estate. They will be accountable for taking account of all of the decedent's assets and debts, as well as notifying beneficiaries who may be estranged from the decedent, among other things.

Can a Wildwood, 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 seasoned Wildwood, New Jersey attorney, the process almost always goes pretty smoothly.