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What’s the difference between executors and administrators?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2023 | Uncategorized |

When someone passes on, everything they own is then referred to as their estate. An estate is the sum total of property, debt and assets the decedent amassed throughout their life. Since they’re no longer around, someone has to manage their estate, and this is where administrators and executors come in.

While these two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they have unique distinctions that you should be aware of. Understanding the roles of executors and administrators is crucial for effective management and strategic decision-making.

What is an executor?

This is a designated individual responsible for carrying out the wishes outlined in a person’s will. They play a pivotal role in the posthumous distribution of assets, helping ensure that the deceased’s intentions are honored. Executors act as fiduciaries, overseeing the entire probate process and addressing any legal matters that may arise.

Executors hold significant legal authority granted by the deceased through their will. This authority encompasses managing the deceased’s financial affairs, repaying outstanding debts and distributing assets to beneficiaries. Their decisions are binding and must align with the legal framework governing wills and probate.

What is an administrator?

On the other hand, administrators are individuals appointed by the court when there is no valid will or appointed executor. Their key responsibility is to oversee the distribution of the deceased’s assets according to the intestacy laws.

Unlike executors, administrators derive their authority from the court’s appointment. Their decisions are guided by intestacy laws, which stipulate the rightful heirs and the distribution of assets in the absence of a will. Administrators must adhere strictly to these legal parameters.

Understanding the nuances between executors and administrators is important for anyone involved in estate planning or business succession. While executors execute predetermined plans, administrators navigate the complexities of intestacy laws.