Estate administration is the procedure 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 regulating that situation, as well.
If the decedent (the person who died) left a will, the process of estate administration in Altoona 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 guarantee 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 rapidly as possible.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a will in Altoona, Pennsylvania is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to determine 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).
In cases where the will doesn't name an executor, or the person named is unable to take on that role for whatever reason, any person who has some direct share in the decedent's estate (either because they're named in the will or stand to inherit by intestacy) can petition an Altoona, Pennsylvania court to be assigned executor.
Once an executor is finally named, he or she becomes responsible for serving as the living embodiment of the estate, utilizing all legal means to protect the estate's interests (such as mounting plausible legal defenses against creditors).
Can a Altoona, Pennsylvania Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you are the administrator of an estate, and are not a legal and/or financial professional, you might face legal or tax issues with which you are unfamiliar. An Altoona, Pennsylvania attorney would be extremely helpful in such a situation.