The procedure of distributing and maintaining the estate (the total accumulated property) of a person who dies is recognized as "estate administration." It is carried out either through the provisions of a will, or local laws addressing the issue of a person who dies without a will.
If the decedent (the person who died) left a will, the process of estate administration in Clark County Washington will normally be carried out according to the instructions in the will.
Wills usually name an executor. The executor's role revolves around guaranteeing that the instructions in the will are implemented.
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 Clark County, Washington 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 commonly the person who would inherit most under the will, or under the intestacy scheme of Washington. Intestacy is when a person dies without having made a will, or if a will turns out to be invalid. The intestacy laws of each state govern how property is distributed in such a situation. In most states, it simply goes to the closest living relative.
If the will doesn't name a person who is to serve as executor, or the individual named is no longer alive or cannot be found, anyone with a direct interest in the will can apply to the Clark County, Washington court to be the executor.
Whoever is assigned to serve as executor, it is their job to act as the representative of the estate. Among other jobs, they have to account for the decedent's debts and assets, and inform any beneficiaries who might be unaware of the situation.
Can a Clark County, Washington 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. A Clark County, Washington attorney would be extremely helpful in such a situation.