While an estate executor and an estate administrator may have many of the same responsibilities, the way they are appointed to these roles can differ. Each term refers to a trusted individual appointed to oversee how the deceased person’s property is distributed. In our last blog post, we talked about an estate executor. Today, we will talk about an administrator.
Remember, the estate executor must follow the instructions according to the will but also must follow state laws regarding the distribution of an estate. Any debts the deceased has will need to be paid using funds from the estate, or if there are none available, property or other assets can be sold to pay them. If federal or state taxes are owed, they will need to be filed and paid as well.
Estate Administrator | Estate Lawyer in Cary
When someone dies and does not have a will, his or her estate still needs to be settled. In this case, the court will appoint someone to take on this responsibility. It may not be the person the deceased would have chosen. Anyone who petitions the court to take on the role is considered.
Once the person is named administrator, he or she has many of the same duties as the executor. However, if no will is in place, the administrator must follow state laws for distributing the estate. This usually means the estate has to go through the probate process.
Someone named estate administrator may have less power over decisions than someone named executor. He or she may have to have the court’s approval before following through with some duties, such as selling assets to pay off debts. The courts often watch an administrator more closely than someone named executor by the deceased.
If there is no will, the administrator must also follow the state’s guidelines for how assets are distributed to relatives. There is generally a law of succession, or intestate succession, showing the list of relatives who will inherit assets.
In some states, a bond must be posted as insurance against any mistakes or other issues that the administrator may cause. Executors do not usually have to post a bond if it is waived in the deceased’s will, or if they do, the estate pays for it.
Overall, the administrator and executor have a similar goal – to settle the deceased’s estate responsibly and according to the state’s laws.
Eldreth Law Firm | Estate Lawyer in Cary
Having someone you trust with your estate and the distribution of your assets is important in making sure that your inheritors obtain what you want them to receive. The person can be named as part of the estate planning process, which includes writing a will. Another aspect of estate planning is determining who will speak on your behalf should you become unable to do so because of illness or other incompetency. You can include a power of attorney document that will name someone to represent you.
If you need help planning your estate, call us today. We can answer questions you may have about estate planning, wills, power of attorney, and more. Do not leave your family without a plan outlining your wishes. Our offices are conveniently located in Cary, NC. We also handle elder law, small business law, trademarking, copyrighting, and DWI issues.