AN IMPORTANT AND SOMETIMES THANKLESS JOB
There are times in life when we all will have to do or engage in a thankless job. One such time is when a close friend or a family member asks you to be the executor of their estate. The difference between an executor and an administrator of an estate is small but noteworthy. An executor is someone who is appointed by the terms of the will itself to administer the estate. If there is a trust document to convey property to heirs, they are then known as trustee.
An administrator is the title for the person who appointed to administer the estate by the Court when someone dies intestate, or without a will, or when the appointed executor refuses or cannot complete the task. In either event the probate Court Judge must approve of the selection. A recent survey by U.S. Trust found that three-quarters of high net worth individuals choose a family member or close and trusted friend to be the executor of their estate and two-thirds of the same people chose a friend to be the trustee for their testamentary trust. The process is started when the executor presents the will and a death certificate to the Surrogate Court in the County in which the deceased resided. The Court then issues letters testamentary to the executor, which is when the hard work begins.