Estate Administration is the process of taking care of a deceased individuals legal affairs. It can be an overwhelming process, not only because of difficulty of loss that family members experienced, but also because of the legal complexities involved.The administrative process that takes place largely depends on the individual’s family and financial situation and whether or not the individual has an estate plan. To complicate things more, if the person does have an estate plan the process largely depends on the types of documents created.
If the person does not have an estate plan, then the administrative tasks would likely take place through the probate court. This type of court proceeding governs the affairs of a deceased individual if the person did not create an estate plan during their lifetime. The governing authority in this example would be the laws of intestacy, which means that the state is responsible for deciding who gets your assets after you die.
If the individual did create an estate plan, the process of administering those assets must be carried out by an executor (an individual named under a will). If a will was created and the assets exceed probate limits, then the estate must be probated. Estates that have to go through the probate process must navigate several court rules to effectively administer the estate. The general objective of estate administration is to collect assets, pay off creditors, determine proper beneficiaries of the estate, and make a final distribution to beneficiaries. In other words, the objective of estate administration is to carry out an individual’s final affairs and distribute assets to proper successors.
An experienced estate administration lawyer can greatly simplify the process of estate administration and keep family from becoming overwhelmed by the legal complexities of carrying out an individual’s affairs. If you would like to discuss your particular situation with an estate administration attorney, call us for a free consultation today.