The process of distributing and maintaining the estate (the total accumulated property) of a person who dies is identified as "estate administration." It is carried out either through the provisions of a will, or local laws addressing the problem of a person who dies without a will.
If the person who died made and executed a valid will in Hartford, Wisconsin, the process of estate administration typically follows the procedures and instructions laid out in the will.
Frequently, the will appoints an executor whose job it is to oversee the administration of the will.
The executor is typically 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 a Hartford, Wisconsin will does not appoint anyone to serve as executor, or there is no will, the court has to choose someone to fill that role.
Typically, this will be the person who has the most to acquire from the will, or who would gain the most under Wisconsin'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 Hartford, Wisconsin court to be the executor.
Once an executor is appointed (whether by being named in the will, or on the application of another person), they "step into the shoes" of the estate, and are expected to protect its interests to the fullest extent possible. They also are required to accurately inventory the estate's debts and assets, as well as notify potential beneficiaries.
Can a Hartford, Wisconsin Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you find yourself named in a will as executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to meet your responsibilities, or where to begin, it would be a good idea to consult with an efficient Hartford, Wisconsin lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-complicated process.