The procedure 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 issue of a person who dies without a will.
If the person who died made and executed a valid will in Lancaster, 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 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 Lancaster, Wisconsin is silent as to who should be the executor, it is up to the court to determine who should serve in that capacity.
This is normally the person who will benefit the most if the will is executed. If there is no will (a situation identified as "intestacy"), Wisconsin has a system of laws distributing the decedent's property to his or her closest living relative. In such a case, the closest living relative has the most to gain from an orderly administration of the estate, so they will normally be appointed.
If no executor is named in the will, anyone with a share in the will can apply to the court in Lancaster, Wisconsin 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 safeguard the estate's interests as they would their own.
Can a Lancaster, 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 Lancaster, Wisconsin lawyer who can help you navigate this sometimes-difficult process.