What is the difference between an executor and an administrator?
Potential clients often ask this question during their free consultation in my law office. Although there may be other technical differences, the main difference is in the title of the person and how that title was received.
When a person dies without a valid will they are referred to as intestate. Even when a person dies intestate, however, they may have a home or other property resulting in their estate needing to be submitted to the probate process. When an intestate estate is submitted to the probate process, the court must appoint someone to handle the tasks associated with ensuring the proper parties (heirs) inherit from the estate. The person appointed by the court to handle the estate's business and perform those tasks is call an administrator of the estate. Often, only one person applies to be appointed as administrator of an estate. When more than one person applies to be appointed as administrator, the court must decide who to appoint and the process can become highly contested and litigated.
On the other hand, when a person dies with a valid will they are referred to as testate. The deceased person's will often will name the person selected by the decedent to handle the business of their estate. That person is called the executor of the estate. The duties of the executor are similar to those of an administrator appointed by the probate court. Because an executor is selected by the decedent, however, the court's approval of that person is subject to less objection and debate.
Attorney Kevin Parker is a probate attorney in Griffin, Georgia who has helped many client's in getting appointed as administrator or executor and carrying out the final wishes of their loved ones.
Call us or visit our website for more information and to schedule a free consultation for your probate matter.