Posted on November 19, 2018

Who Can Be the Estate Administrator?

Anyone can become the estate administrator of an intestate estate. All they have to do is apply. If all interested parties can agree on someone to serve as the estate administrator then, following some procedural items, they can be appointed to that position.

If people can’t agree on who is going to be the estate administrator then there is a statute listing priority relationships and people who have higher priority are entitled to the appointment before people who have a lower priority – for example, a spouse has a higher priority than a child so if they both want to be the estate administrator the spouse will be appointed and the child won’t.

If people who have the same priority want to be the estate administrator and want to work together then they can be appointed co-administrators. If, on the other hand, they can’t agree on who should be the estate administrator and they don’t want to work together then they can apply to the probate judge for a decision on who should be the administrator.

A distant relative or friend can become the estate administrator if they want to do so provided that no one with a higher priority wants the appointment. Distant relatives and friends hold the same priority status so if they agree then great but if they are in conflict they will have to ask the judge to make the appointment.

If no one steps up to be appointed the estate administrator then a creditor can request the appointment. Once appointed they would be responsible to conduct the estate administration process for the benefit of the creditors and then the beneficiaries.

Anyone applying to be the estate administrator must have good credit because they will need to be bonded. That means they will need to purchase a bond (something like an insurance policy) that protects creditors and beneficiaries from any wrongdoing by the estate administrator. You must have good credit to be bonded by the insurance company.

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