Dying without a Will can complicate probate

Dying without a Will can complicate probate
Mick Grant
Mick Grant

Founder and Writer

The estate executor or the personal representative is responsible for taking care of and distributing the estate a person died after leaving behind a will. It is the executor’s job to handle the will. They also distribute the assets among the beneficiaries or act according to the terms of the will. The person who writes the will is the testator. The testator appoints or names the person whom he or she wants to serve as the executor of their will. If the person passes away without writing a will or intestate? Or if their will does not have any reference to the executor? In such cases, it is the probate court that takes up the responsibility of appointing the executor. Different instances or situations when there is no executor during probate have been detailed below. Please go through the whole content so that you can have a detailed view of the process. 

When There is No Designated Executor in the Will

The majority of the time, when people draft their will, they include the name of a reliable person. That person who can serve as the estate executor. The testators even designate a second personal representative or executor. This is to ensure there is someone taking care of the terms of the will if in case the first-named executor refrains from taking up the responsibility.

Nevertheless, a will does not need to designate an executor as long as it offers reasonable details of who must serve as the executor. For instance, in case the testator has a couple of children, the will can say that the testator is appointing the oldest child as the executor. In this case, the court can reasonably ensure whom the testator designated to take care of his or her assets, even without offering a certain name.

Probate and Court Appointed Executors

In certain situations, the court takes up the responsibility of appointing the executor for administering and distributing the estate of the decedent. The first instance is when the named executor in the will does not agree to take up the responsibility of an executor, and there is also no second executor named in the will. In that case, the probate court takes up the responsibility of appointing some other individual as the estate executor.

The next instance is when the testator has not considered it important to designate an executor in his or her will. In that case, again, the probate court appoints someone on behalf of the testator. The third and last instance is when an individual passes away without leaving a will. So, there’s no designate executor, and hence, the probate courts named someone reliable enough to serve the role.

Independent Executors

There are some states where testators can designate independent executors in their last testament. Independent executors have the power of administering and distributing the estate of a deceased.

What if the testator has failed to appoint an executor in his or her will? Or has passed away without a will? the probate court designates an executor for administering the estate. As per rules, the order of the individuals entitled to submit probate applications if the testator has passed away without naming an executor is as follows:

  • Trustee of the residuary estate or the assets left in the deceased individual’s estate after all the taxes, debts, fees, and gifts have been paid off.
  • Residuary beneficiary
  • The personal representative of the residuary beneficiary
  • Legatee or the individual receiving a legacy or the decedent’s creditor
  • Decedent’s creditor or the personal representative of the legatee.

If more than one individual has been entitled as the executor? Any one of them can apply for probate without giving any notice to the others.

Probate – Conclusion

One major reason why executors have the possibility of refusing the position is because of the huge responsibilities accompanied. No matter whether the will has any executor or the court has appointed one, the job responsibilities of them remain the same. The estate executor takes up the responsibility of getting in touch with all the beneficiaries and heirs along with the creditors. The creditors are people who owe some money from the dead person. It is the job of the executor to collect and even inventory all the assets within the deceased’s estate. They will use the same for paying off all outstanding debts. Once everything finishes, the executor distributes remaining assets to the heirs as per the terms of the decedent’s will.

Now keep all these things in mind and make your will without a delay!

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