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Monday, July 27, 2020

What Happens If There Is No Named Executor of an Estate?

A personal representative, otherwise referred to as an “executor” or “administrator,” of an estate plays a vital role during the probate process. This individual carries the responsibility of administering and distributing the decedent’s estate. Oftentimes, the personal representative is named in the decedent’s will. Other times, there is no named personal representative of the estate. When this happens, who is responsible for administering the estate?

What Happens If There Is No Named Executor of an Estate?

First, let us differentiate some terminology for clarity’s sake. A personal representative is a term that includes both an executor and an administrator. An executor of an estate is one that is appointed pursuant to the terms of a will. An administrator of an estate is one appointed by the probate court should there be no named executor.

Second, let us discuss situations where there would be no named executor of an estate. For instance, there may be a will, but the will may not name an executor. In the alternative, the will may name an executor, but that executor is unavailable or unable to serve. In other cases, there may be a will, but the will is found invalid. Other times, there may be no will at all. These are all circumstances that would mean there is no named executor of an estate.

As stated above, the personal representative of an estate plays a vital role in the administration of an estate. He or she is responsible for gathering, managing, protecting, and distributing assets. The personal representative must pay outstanding debts and taxes of the estate. All of the beneficiaries or heirs of the estate must be contacted. The personal representative must answer to the probate court who is tasked with overseeing the whole process. It is a big responsibility to be the personal representative of the estate. This is one reason why a named executor may not wish to serve in this role. It is critical when drafting your will to discuss your choice for executor with the person you wish to name as executor. Verify that they would be willing to take on this responsibility.

If there is no named executor, a person, usually a friend, family member or another interested party, may come forward and petition the court to become the administrator of the estate by obtaining letters of administration. If no one comes forward on their own, the court may ask a person to serve as an administrator. The person must formally accept this responsibility and always has the option to reject the request.

Estate Planning Attorney

The role of executor of an estate is important. This is the person responsible for administering your estate, seeing to it that your wishes are honored. Take the time to carefully select your executor and put an estate plan that protects your future and the legacy you leave for your loved ones today. Monk Law is here to put a comprehensive estate plan in place for you. Contact Monk Law today.


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| Phone: 803-594-4453
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| Phone: 704-369-9977

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