When a person dies, a process identified 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 Johnstown, New York, the process will be carried out according to the directives included in the will, assuming they are legitimate and enforceable.
Most frequently, a will names a person to serve as executor, whose job it is to guarantee that the estate is properly administered.
The executor usually has at least some work cut out for them. This apparently 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 Johnstown, New York will does not name an executor, or no will exists or can be found, it's up to the local court to determine who should be the executor.
Typically, this will be the person who has the most to acquire from the will, or who would gain the most under New York'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 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 Johnstown, New York 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 Johnstown, 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 reliable Johnstown, New York attorney, the process almost always goes pretty smoothly.