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 typically 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 person who died made and executed a valid will in Charleston, South Carolina, the process of estate administration typically follows the procedures and instructions laid out in the will.
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 is typically whoever stands to acquire 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 a will in Charleston, South Carolina does not name a person to serve as executor, or the decedent dies without having written a will, the court will assign a person to act as estate administrator.
This is most frequently the person who stands to gain the most from the will, or who would inherit the most under South Carolina's intestacy laws. Intestacy is the system that every state has in order to deal with the property of people who die without a will. It typically distributes the property to the closest living relatives of the decedent, assuming they can be located.
If the will doesn't name anyone as executor, or the individual who was named as executor is no longer living or cannot be found, anyone who has a direct interest in the will in Charleston, South Carolina can apply to the court to be the executor.
Whoever ends up as the executor, it is their responsibility to serve as the personal representative of the estate. They will be accountable for taking account of all of the decedent's assets and debts, as well as notifying beneficiaries who may be estranged from the decedent, among other things.
Can a Charleston, South Carolina 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 Charleston, South Carolina attorney, the process almost always goes pretty smoothly.