January 28, 2009


Posted in Administrator tagged , at 2:11 am by Wyllo

An Administration of an Estate or an Estate Administration is a legal term referring to a person appointed by a court to administer the estate of a deceased person who left no will (intestate) or for some reason an existing will is judged invalid or incomplete in some way.

After the death of an individual, an estate may be opened by any interested party, who files/filed an Application to Administer the estate. The application is filed in the county in where the decedent resided.

The Court then appoints an estate representative, called a fiduciary, according to the decedent’s will or statutory guidelines and issues Letters of Administration or Authority. This court appointed fiduciary (representative or administrator) performs duties similar to those of an executor named in a will. For instance, if a will is left but no executor is named, the administrator settles the decedent’s debts, pays any necessary taxes and funeral expenses and then distributes the remainder according to the procedures set down by governing laws.

In a situation where there are no instructions in a will, the administrator must distribute the estate of the deceased according to the rules laid down by statute and the common law.

In either case, following the statutes and local Court rules, the basic steps of administration are usually as follows:

  • Application for authority to administer the estate
  • Admit the will into probate, if one exists
  • Appointment of a fiduciary, the administrator
  • Gathering the decedent’s assets
  • Obtaining appraisals, as required
  • Filing an inventory in a timely manner
  • Payments to creditors
  • Filing estate and income tax returns and paying those taxes, if any exist
  • Distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries
  • Closing the estate by filing a final account or certificate of termination in a timely manner

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