Executor vs. Administrator: What’s the Difference?

In estate planning, the roles of an executor and an administrator are pivotal, each serving distinct functions in the settlement of an estate. An executor is a person appointed by the deceased individual in their will to carry out their last wishes and oversee the distribution of assets. This role involves navigating the legal processes, paying outstanding debts, and ensuring that bequests are executed as outlined in the will. Executors play a crucial role in providing a seamless transition of assets from the deceased to their beneficiaries, often acting as the lynchpin in the probate process, while working with the Courts or the Commissioner of Accounts.

On the other hand, an administrator steps into a similar role but is typically appointed by the court when the deceased has not designated an executor in their will, or when the appointed executor is unable or unwilling to fulfill their duties. Administrators assume responsibility for settling the estate, adhering to legal protocols, and distributing assets among heirs. Administrators may operate under the guidelines of intestacy laws, which dictate the distribution of assets in the absence of a valid will. While both executors and administrators share the common goal of managing the deceased’s estate, the key distinction lies in their appointment process – executors are named in the will, while administrators are appointed by the court when necessary. Understanding these roles is essential in crafting a comprehensive estate plan to ensure a smooth transition and fulfillment of one’s final wishes.

If you find yourself in need of guidance or have questions about your own estate plan, reach out to our office. We can provide tailored advice and support in navigating the intricacies of this important process. Call Wilson Law at 866-603-5976 or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch to schedule a meeting.