Estate administration is the process during which the estate of a person who has recently died is maintained and divided among his or her heirs or beneficiaries. This normally happens according to the instructions in a will, but in case there is no will, there are laws governing that situation, as well.
If the decedent (the person who died) left a will, the process of estate administration in Allegheny County Pennsylvania will normally be carried out according to the instructions in the will.
Most often, a will names a person to serve as executor, whose job it is to ensure that the estate is properly administered.
The executor is commonly the person who will get the most money or property out of the will if it is given effect, because this is the person who will have the greatest incentive to see that the probate process goes as quickly as possible.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a will in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to decide who should serve in that capacity.
Normally, this will be the person who has the most to receive from the will, or who would gain the most under Pennsylvania'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).
When a will is silent as to who should be the executor, any person who has some direct interest in the outcome can ask to be named executor by the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania court.
When the executor is chosen, they serve as a sort of incarnation of the decedent's estate - the estate's legal interests become the executor's interests, and the executor is expected to protect the estate's interests as they would their own.
Can a Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you find yourself named in a will as executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to meet your responsibilities, or where to begin, it would be a good idea to consult with an accomplished Allegheny County, Pennsylvania lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-confusing process.