Executor, Administrator and in some States, Personal Representative all describe the role of a fiduciary, or person trusted to act in the utmost “scrupulous good faith and candor.” An Administrator of an estate is a fiduciary who has been assigned the task of overseeing the proper probate of the estate of a decedent who passed away without a Will, or intestate, whereas an Executor, or Personal Representative, (the term used in some states), is the title of a fiduciary nominated by a decedent who left a Will. Their estate is referred to as testate.
Should you feel honored that you are trusted with such an important duty? Yes! However, you may be wondering what your responsibilities entail or even if you have to accept the nomination.
The Administrator’s job is to oversee that the assets and debts of the estate of the decedent are managed and distributed properly by virtue of the probate process, which is supervised by the Probate Court. The Court requires certain procedures be adhered to, for example, you must open a bank account for the estate, with any assets, which is separate from your own and must not co-mingle your assets with those of the estate.
Meet Your Deadlines
The Court has specific forms and deadlines which must be filed according to the Court’s specified time schedule as well. This helps ensure that assets and debts are being managed properly and in accordance with the laws of New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Bar Association has put together a helpful booklet with some great information to help newly appointed Administrators and Executors understand their roles and obligations when administering an estate.
Sometimes, grieving the loss of a loved one and being appointed to administer their estate is too overwhelming. You are not obligated to accept the nomination, even if you have been named in a Last Will and Testament. There is a procedure for declining the appointment.
If you are appointed as the Executor, Administrator or Personal Representative of someone’s estate, it is most helpful if you stay organized, track all debts and assets meticulously and most importantly, if you have questions, seek out the assistance of an Attorney.
Let us Help
Estate Administration can be immensely confusing and at times, burdensome for the average person, so we always recommend that you hire an Attorney to walk you through this process. Please feel free to give us a call at 943-5647 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced estate administration Attorneys who can discuss your options.