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The administration of property left behind by a deceased individual needs to be handled with care. Fail to do that and unnecessary stress and legal entanglements can become the order of the day for those involved. Fortunately, there are guidelines to follow that can make estate administration a seamless process. This post will highlight some of the crucial regulations you should be aware of.

First things first — who is responsible for handling such property? And, is the estate administrator the same as the executor? The following post answers these questions:

Executors and administrators are both known as personal representatives. They have the duty to probate valid wills, and to then manage and distribute the estate assets. The key difference between an executor and administrator is how they are appointed. Executors are chosen by the testator (the person who prepares the will). The executor is identified by name in the will and given powers to administer the estate….If the testator does not appoint an executor, then somebody still needs to step forward and request to be approved as the estate administrator. Read more at Wagner and Wagner…

As a rule of thumb, the testator (the person who writes the will) states who the executor will be in the will. On the other hand, an estate administrator is appointed by the courts.

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The next thing that needs to be clear is the roles and responsibilities of the executor or estate administrator. The following post explains them in detail:

Although state probate laws can vary, the duties of your personal representative or executor will include:

Locating and safeguarding your probate assets: These assets are property that has no other way of passing to a living individual. Life insurance and certain retirement accounts with beneficiary designations pass directly to beneficiaries by operation of law, so they would not be included in your probate estate.

Obtaining date of death values for your probate assets: This might include ordering appraisals of things like real estate and business interests. Read more at The Balance…

You may need to familiarize yourself with your state laws in regard to estate administration if you have been named an executor, or if you have been appointed an administrator.

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Have you ever wondered what might happen should the named executor or administrator decline the responsibility? The following post explains more about this:

Does An Executor Have to Serve?

No. If an executor is appointed by the testator in a will, an executor can either accept to serve and carry out the will’s responsibilities or can decline this responsibility. Someone who agrees to become an executor can also resign at anytime. If the will has named an alternate executor, that person will take over. If the will have not named an alternative executor, the court will appoint someone to step in and serve as executor. Read more at Legal Match…

If the testator fails to consult with the person he names as the executor, the chances of the named person declining the responsibility increase. In addition, beneficiaries can also contest the appointment of an executor. All these decisions, however, need to be guided by the law.

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If you are in Charlotte, NC, and are in need of an experienced estate administrative assistance attorney who will give you relevant, timely advice, Jonathan Meek and the team at Meek Law Firm are here for you. We are committed to ensuring our clients enjoy a stress-free estate administration process because that’s what we do best.

Why get all worked up about estate administration when the experts are here for you? Call us today at (704) 848-6335 or fill out the contact form on our website to book an appointment with us.