Trying to figure out the difference between executor vs administrator?
One has more authority over the estate compared to the other.
One has limitations that the other does not.
And one is court-appointed, meaning it could be anyone.
In this article, you will learn everything about executor vs administrator, including:
When the courts appoint an administrator to an estate, they can choose anyone. This includes creditors or third-party companies. Meaning you and your family lose all control over the estate.
If you want to create a will for your estate or file a petition to become the administrator of an estate, fill out the form below for a free consultation. Free consultations are first come first serve. We always run out of slots. Make sure you get yours locked in now.
An administrator is a court-appointed person who handles the financials of a deceased person.
The administrator will organize the estate and settle debts, expenses, and other obligations.
The administrator will also distribute the remaining assets per the will.
If there was no will, they will distribute assets per intestacy laws.
There are not a lot of differences between an executor vs administrator.
Let’s talk about the similarities between an executor vs administrator.
Both the executor and administrator:
Related: Estate Planning Checklist
The main differences between administrator vs executor are:
What are the executor or the administrator of estate duties?
The administrator of estate duties include:
An administrator of an estate gets appointed by the courts when:
When there is no will, the estate gets handled by intestacy laws.
The intestacy laws are different in every state.
But, in general, the courts will choose an administrator based on the size of the person’s interest in the inheritance.
It is not based on the “closeness” of that person’s relationship with the decedent.
The courts’ order of preference for the administrator of estate are:
You can apply to be an administrator of an estate.
To apply for the appointment of an administrator of an estate, you’ll need to file a:
The petition for administration of the estate will include information like:
Every probate court has different petitions for the administration of the estate.
If you need help, consult your probate attorney.
Let’s talk about can an executor decide who gets what.
Can an executor decide who gets what depends on the power of appointment in the will.
If the will lists people and directions on how to distribute assets, the executor has limited power of appointment.
But a general power of appointment allows the executor to decide who gets what.
If the will does not explain what to do with the estate, the executor can even keep the estate for themselves.
Between the death and until the estate has been distributed, the executor has to show accounting to beneficiaries.
They have to maintain receipts and related documents.
The executor has to show accounting to beneficiaries.
Most states require that they also file the receipts to the courts to finalize probate.
The executor’s responsibilities to beneficiaries are:
We know what the executor’s responsibilities to beneficiaries are.
But what about things an executor does not have to do?
An executor does not have a responsibility to beneficiaries for:
Executor fees average 1.5%-2% of the estate.
Some states have specific executor fees guidelines to follow.
Most states allow executors to charge “reasonable” executor fees to the beneficiaries.
To charge executor fees, you would bill the estate.
An executor can sell property of the estate without approval from the beneficiaries.
The executor only has to notify the beneficiaries they are going to sell property of the estate.
We see people pass away without wills all the time.
Their inheritance gets split up by the government.
Their spouses don’t get what they deserve.
Their kids don’t get fair splits of the inheritance.
It’s usually a mess and never turns out how the family wants it to.
Fill out the form below if you don’t want the government to be in control of your inheritance.