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What's the Difference Between an Executor and an Administrator

Executor? Executrix? Administrator? Administratrix? You’ve heard the terms and you know they have something to do with someone’s death, but what do the folks serving in these roles really do?

Basically each of these terms is simply making reference to the person who is going to be overseeing the administration of a deceased person’s estate. An executor (male) or executrix (female) is the person named and appointed in a Last Will and Testament to serve and perform these duties and obligations. An administrator (male) or administratrix (female) is the person who will b appointed by the county probate court to complete the administration process in those case where there is either no Will or in those case where there is a Will, but the Will fails to name or designate an Executor.

If you’ve been named as Executor/Executrix in a loved one’s Will, what exactly do you have to do? Your first obligation will be to gather, obtain and protect all of the Decedent’s property until it can be ultimately distributed to the intended heirs who were named and identified in the Will. The probate estate administration process can often take several months and sometimes much longer to complete. Bank and investment accounts must be collected and closed and a new estate bank account established. You may also find yourself having to sell real estate, land, stocks or other assets in order to liquidate the estate and get it ready for distribution. All of the estate's outstanding debts and taxes will also have to be addressed.

The law does not require the executor or administrator to have any special training in law or accounting, but such training can certainly help. Integrity and the ability to act in the best interest of the estate and the intended heirs is all that is truly required.

Sound like a lot of work? It certainly can be, but giving carrying out a loved one’s final intentions is a noble and honorable thing. Still if you’re feeling overwhelmed by just the thought of the whole process, you may want to seek out the advice and assistance of a trusted and experienced estate planning and probate estate administration attorney.

Hope this article helps. If you have further questions or we can be of further assistance to either you or your family, please give us a call today at (412) 381-7370 or visit us online at www.americanwillsandestates.com . We’ve been assisting clients throughout Western Pennsylvania through the estate planning and probate estate administration process with competency, compassion and care for over 25 years. We offer free consultations and office, home and hospital visits are available upon request.

Pittsburgh Probate Estate Administration and Estate Planning Lawyers