estate planning lawyer

What Is Estate Administration? Types of Estate Administration

What is Estate Administration? 

When someone dies, their estate must proceed through a legal process called estate administration. This process involves caring for the deceased person’s financial affairs and transferring their assets to their heirs. 

Estate administration requires identifying what the deceased person owned and owed, paying off any debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the heirs according to the will or—if there is no will—according to state laws. 

Estate administration can be a challenging and lengthy process, especially if the estate is large or has multiple creditors or beneficiaries. Many people seek an estate planning lawyer to guide them through the process. 

Types of Estate Administration 

Estate administration is the process of managing and distributing deceased persons’ property and assets according to their will or the law. There are two types of estate administration: testate and intestate. 

Testate Administration 

Testate administration is when the deceased person leaves a valid will that specifies how their estate should be divided among their heirs and beneficiaries. The will also names an executor responsible for carrying out the deceased’s wishes and settling their debts and taxes. The executor needs to obtain a probate from the court, a legal document certifying the will’s authenticity and validity.  

Intestate Administration

Intestate administration applies when the deceased person has not left a valid will or testamentary document. In this case, an administrator is appointed by the court to administer the deceased person’s estate according to the law. The administrator needs to obtain a letter of administration from the court, which grants them the power to manage and distribute the estate among the legal heirs of the dead. The letter of administration also determines who are the legal heirs and how much share they are entitled to receive from the estate.  

Common Challenges in Estate Administration

Estate administration can be a complex and time-consuming process that requires knowledge and skills. It can also involve many risks and challenges that can cause delays, errors, disputes, or lawsuits. 

Some of the common challenges in estate administration are: 

  • Locating and verifying the will 
  • Locating and notifying beneficiaries 
  • Identifying, securing, and valuing assets 
  • Paying debts, taxes, and expenses 
  • Distributing assets according to the will or the law 

When Do You Need a Probate Lawyer? 

Legal professionals are extremely important for estate planning and administration. Estate planning is a process you do during your lifetime to decide how your property will be distributed after your death. Estate administration is a process that happens after your death to carry out your estate plans and settle your affairs. To ensure that your estate plans are valid and effective, and that your estate administration is smooth and hassle-free, you need to consult with a professional legal advisor. 

We believe that this article has given you some basic information about estate planning and administration. However, you may still have some questions or need assistance making or executing your plans. If you want to hire a probate lawyer in New York, please contact us.