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 person who died made and executed a valid will in Weirton, West Virginia, the process of estate administration normally follows the procedures and instructions laid out 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 typically has at least some work cut out for them. This evidently raises the issue of compensation. The easiest way to guarantee that the executor does his or her job is simply to appoint the person who has the most to gain from the will. That way, they cannot inherit until the process is finalized.
What if The Will Does Not Name an Executor?
If a will in Weirton, 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 usually the person who will benefit the most if the will is executed. If there is no will (a situation recognized 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 usually be appointed.
In cases where the will doesn't name an executor, or the person named is unable to take on that role for whatever reason, any person who has some direct share in the decedent's estate (either because they're named in the will or stand to inherit by intestacy) can petition a Weirton, West Virginia court to be assigned 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 Weirton, West Virginia Estate Administration Attorney Help?
If you have unexpectedly been appointed to be the executor of a relative's estate, and don't know how to handle this process, you should speak with a seasoned Weirton, West Virginia wills and trusts attorney.