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 Hyde Park, New York, the process will be carried out according to the directives included in the will, assuming they are legitimate and enforceable.

Most commonly, a will names a person to serve as executor, whose job it is to guarantee that the estate is properly administered.

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 a Hyde Park, New York will does not assign anyone to serve as executor, or there is no will, the court has to choose someone to fill that role.

Usually, the person chosen to be executor is the one who would benefit most under the will, or under New York'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. Usually, 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 Hyde Park, New York 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 Hyde Park, New York 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 Hyde Park, New York attorney, the process almost always goes pretty smoothly.