Personal Representatives In Probate

What are Personal Representatives In Probate?

Updated on July 15, 2021

4 Different Types of Personal Representatives in Probate

There are some basic question that you should have answer like What are personal representatives in probate? If so, who can be a personal representative in probate?

There are four different types of personal representatives in probate who can administer the estate. They are (1) executor, (2) administrator with will annexed, (3) administrator, and (4) special administrator.

Probate Executor of Estate

An executor exists only when there is a will.  Specifically, an executor is a person the decedent named in the will to carry out the terms of the will.  An executor has the right to be appointed as the personal representative unless he is statutorily disqualified or declines the appointment.

Administrator With Will Annexed

Here, the decedent’s will failed to expressly name the executor or the named executors are unwilling or unable to administer the estate. In this case, the court will appoint an administrator with will annexed.

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Administrator of Estate

If the decedent died intestate (i.e. without a will), then the court will appoint an administrator of the estate. Any competent adult who is a US resident can be appointed as the administrator. However, there is a statutory list of priority as to the appointment of the administrator.  The order or priority is as follows:

  1. Surviving spouse or domestic partner
  2. Children
  3. Grandchildren
  4. Other issue
  5. Parents
  6. Brothers and sisters
  7. Brothers’ and sisters’ issue
  8. Grandparents
  9. Grandparents’ issue
  10. Predeceased spouses’ or domestic partner’s children
  11. Predeceased spouse’s or domestic partner’s other issue
  12. Other “next of kin
  13. Predeceased spouse’s or domestic partner’s parents
  14. Predeceased spouse’s or domestic partner’s parents’ issue
  15. Decedent’s conservator or guardian of the estate acting in that capacity at the time of death…provided he has filed a first account and is not acting in the same capacity for any other person
  16. Public administrator
  17. Creditors
  18. Any other person

As long as someone with higher priority is eligible and has not waived the right to priority, the court has no discretion to appoint someone with lower priority.

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Special Administrator of Estate

The court can appoint a special administrator if immediate action must be taken and the probate petition has not yet been granted and letters have not been issued.

After the personal representative (other than a special administrator) is issued letters, he then has the power to administer the estate.

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