In the case of a person with a Will, the beneficiaries are named. In the case of a person without a Will, the law provides for who the beneficiaries shall be depending on the marital status and the surviving next of kin.
At the time of death a number of assets may be owned by a trust or may be automatically given to loved ones through beneficiary designations, for all other assets, be they monetary, tangibles or real estate property, are part of the probate estate.
In New Castle County, Delaware, estates with any real estate or other assets worth more than $30,000 require that a petition be filed with the county Register of Wills, followed by an inventory of assets and then a final accounting, plus a fee paid to the Register of Wills. That is true whether someone dies testate (with a Will) or intestate (without a Will). When someone dies, their estate becomes an entity that needs to be properly managed.
In most estates, an executor has been named in the Will to serve as personal representative, and if intestate, then someone may petition to the Register of Wills to be named as administrator, also a personal representative. When you work with our team at the Williams Law Firm, we ensure that your Delaware estate administration is handled properly to reduce the burden on you.
Understanding the role our law firm can play during this process will help you understand why it is important to have us on your team.