For most people being part of a succession process can be very overwhelming and unclear. Especially because there is a general confusion regarding the role, duties, and responsibilities of all the involved parties. Therefore, it is very convenient to establish some ground concepts.
First of all, a estate consists of all the assets and liabilities left by a decedent. More specifically, a residuary estate -also known as residue of the estate- is the portion of the estate left after bequests of specific items of property are made.
Next, an heir is a person has the right to inherit property of the decedent. Another common designation is beneficiary or legatee. In any case, it is the person named in a will -or insurance policy- to receive money or property, as well as any other kind of asset.
Another key player in an inheritance process is a personal representative. Indeed, this person manages the legal affairs of a decedent in probate. However, if there is a valid will, then the personal representative is the Executor. Among the main responsibilities, an executor oversees and manages an estate, including the distribution of assets and fulfilling the payment for creditors and taxes.
On the other hand, in the absence of a will otherwise naming an executor, the assets are subject to the laws of intestacy. In this case, the personal representative is the Administrator. Moreover, an administrator may be a person -or even an institution- appointed by the court to distribute the assets as well as to pay creditors and taxes. In other words, it is the intestate personal representative.
Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration
As a common rule, letters testamentary or letters of administration are the legal instrument granted by the proper authority to appoint executors or administrators. As such, they should abide by the fiduciary duty. For example, they have the obligation to act in the best interest of another party. In this case, to oversee the last wishes of the decedent, as well as the lawful distribution of assets among the heirs. It may also include managing an assignment. It is the transfer of legal rights from one person to another- or even handling an elective share. According to probate laws, the surviving spouse has the right to take a certain portion of an estate when the other spouse dies. This is regardless of the provisions of the spouse’s will.
Nevertheless, there may be potential complications in the case of a nonresident executor or administrator. Especially because this situation implies an overlapping of legal jurisdictions and international law.
In conclusion, InheritEstate is capable of handling complex cases involving property and assets abroad. Our services include a team of outstanding executors and administrators. In fact, they have the necessary experience and expertise to assist clients with such sensitive matters.