When a person dies, whether or not there is a will, the decedent’s estate will be subject to the probate laws for the distribution of his or her assets. Probate laws exist in order to protect creditors, beneficiaries and heirs, and the probate process involves making certain taxes and debts are paid as well as passing assets to beneficiaries or heirs.
If a person dies with a will , then the person who is named by the decedent as the executor must then file the will in court. The court will determine the will’s validity. The executor will also be responsible for notifying the decedent’s beneficiaries and creditors. The executor will inventory all of the assets held by the estate and be responsible for paying creditors who make claims as well as taxes and legal expenses. Finally, the executor will then distribute assets according to the provisions of the will.
When a person dies without a will, the court will appoint an administrator for the estate. The administrator will have similar duties to pay taxes and creditors that are owed money. The assets will be distributed according to the state’s intestacy laws at the end of the probate administration process.
Most people benefit by drafting wills and other estate planning documents rather than dying without them. By doing so, they can help to make certain their assets are passed according to their wishes rather than according to the intestacy laws. People may want to be careful when they are deciding who to name as the executor of their estates. Will execution can be a complicated process involving substantial time, documentation and paperwork. It may be a good idea for people to make certain that the executors they are thinking about naming will be willing and able to complete the duties that will be required of them.