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 decedent wrote a will before his or her death in Buffalo, New York, the process will be carried out according to the directives contained in the will, assuming they are valid and enforceable.
The decedent normally names in the will an executor of his or her estate. The executor is the person whose job it is to take the lead role in the administration of an estate.
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 Buffalo, New York will does not name an executor, or no will exists or can be found, it's up to the local court to decide who should be the executor.
This is most commonly the person who stands to gain the most from the will, or who would inherit the most under New York'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.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a stake in the will can apply to the court in Buffalo, New York to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.
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 Buffalo, New York Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you have unexpectedly been appointed to be the executor of a relative's estate, and don't know how to handle this process, you should speak with a brilliant Buffalo, New York wills and trusts attorney.