The procedure of distributing and maintaining the estate (the total accumulated property) of a person who dies is known 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 Charles, West Virginia, the process of estate administration usually follows the procedures and instructions laid out in the will.

Usually, wills assign an executor who is responsible for overseeing the administration of the estate, and seeing that its provisions are carried out, to the extent possible.

The executor is usually 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 Charles, West Virginia 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 typically the person who will benefit the most if the will is executed. If there is no will (a situation known as "intestacy"), West Virginia 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 typically be appointed.

If the will doesn't name anyone as executor, or the individual who was named as executor is no longer living or cannot be found, anyone who has a direct interest in the will in Charles, West Virginia can apply to the court to be the executor.

Whoever ends up as the executor, it is their responsibility to serve as the personal representative of the estate. They will be accountable for taking account of all of the decedent's assets and debts, as well as notifying beneficiaries who may be estranged from the decedent, among other things.

Can a Charles, West Virginia Estate Administration Attorney Help?

If you are the executor of an estate, and don't know how to handle some of the legal and financial complexities that may arise, an experienced Charles, West Virginia lawyer can make this process a great deal easier.