An Administrator is the person who is appointed by the Probate Court to handle (i.e., be the person in charge) the probate of the estate of a deceased person who died without a valid Last Will & Testament in place (i.e., the person died intestate). The tasks of the Administrator are very similar to those of an Executor (who is the person that is nominated to “be in charge” under one’s Last Will & Testament). However, in the case of an Administrator, because the deceased person left no valid Last Will & Testament in place, many of the tasks involved in the probate of the deceased person’s estate cannot be abbreviated or avoided as might have been the case had the deceased person signed a Last Will & Testament that contained provisions that excused the necessity of completing certain tasks.
When a person is formally appointed by the Court to serve as the Administrator of the deceased person’s estate, he or she receives Letters of Administration, which is the formal document that allows the Administrator to obtain possession of the deceased person’s assets and to open an estate banking account from which the deceased person’s debts and expenses of administration can be paid. When the person who is nominated under a deceased person’s Last Will & Testament to serve as the Executor is formally appointed by the Court to serve as the Executor, he or she receives Letters Testamentary, which provide the Executor with the same authority over the deceased person’s estate that Letters of Administration provide to an Administrator.