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 had the foresight to draft and execute a will in Harrisburg, South Dakota, the estate is usually administered in a way that follows the instructions the will lays out, as closely as possible.
Commonly, the will appoints an executor whose job it is to oversee the administration of the will.
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 Harrisburg, South Dakota 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.
This is usually the person who will benefit the most if the will is executed. If there is no will (a situation recognized as "intestacy"), South Dakota has a system of laws distributing the decedent's property to his or her closest living relative. In such a situation, the closest living relative has the most to gain from an orderly administration of the estate, so they will usually be appointed.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a stake in the will can apply to the court in Harrisburg, South Dakota to be the executor of the estate, if they wish.
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 Harrisburg, South Dakota 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 Harrisburg, South Dakota attorney, the process almost always goes pretty smoothly.