When a person dies, a process identified 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 has made a will in Watervliet, New York, the process will play out according to the instructions stated in the will.

The decedent typically 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 executor is typically the person who stands to inherit the most money or property from the will, since this personn will have the greatest incentive to see the probate and administration process to completion.

What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?

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

Typically, 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. Typically, 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 a person who is to serve as executor, or the person named is no longer alive or cannot be found, anyone with a direct interest in the will can apply to the Watervliet, New York court to be the executor.

Once an executor is appointed (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 protect its interests to the fullest extent possible. They also are required to accurately inventory the estate's debts and assets, as well as notify potential beneficiaries.

Can a Watervliet, 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 knowledgeable Watervliet, New York attorney, the process almost always goes pretty smoothly.