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 has made a will in Cortland, Ohio, the process will play out according to the instructions mentioned in the will.

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 executor is normally whoever stands to obtain the most money or property if the will is given effect, since that is the person who likely has the most incentive to do their part in seeing that the probate process plays out to completion.

What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?

If the will in Cortland, Ohio 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.

Normally, this will be the person who has the most to receive from the will, or who would gain the most under Ohio'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 person named is no longer alive or cannot be found, anyone with a direct interest in the will can apply to the Cortland, Ohio 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 Cortland, Ohio 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 brilliant Cortland, Ohio attorney, the process almost always goes pretty smoothly.