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 usually 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 had the foresight to draft and execute a will in North Charleston, South Carolina, the estate is typically administered in a way that follows the instructions the will lays out, as closely as possible.
Often, the will appoints an executor whose job it is to oversee the administration of the will.
The executor is often 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 North Charleston, South Carolina will does not name an executor, or no will exists or can be found, it's up to the local court to decide who should be the executor.
Usually, this will be the person who has the most to gain from the will, or who would gain the most under South Carolina'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 North Charleston, South Carolina court to be the executor.
Once an executor is finally named, he or she becomes responsible for serving as the living embodiment of the estate, using all legal means to protect the estate's interests (such as mounting plausible legal defenses against creditors).
Can a North Charleston, South Carolina Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you have unexpectedly been appointed to be the executor of a relative's estate, and don't know how to handle this process, you should speak with a good North Charleston, South Carolina wills and trusts attorney.