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Who Will Be Appointed Executor or Administrator in Probate

In our last blog, we talked about the timeline for probate in San Diego. Another question we are asked frequently is who is going to be appointed the executor or administrator of the estate? If there is a will created by the decedent, the will usually names the “executor.” If that individual is unable or unwilling to serve and there are no successor executors named in the will, then the court may be asked to appoint an administrator with will annexed also known as an administrator CTA. If a person dies without a will, the person who handles the estate is called the “administrator.” All administrators and executors have the same function which is to oversee the decedent’s estate, including evaluating assets, paying bills, and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.

Any interested party can petition the court to become the administrator. An interested party could be a family member or even a friend. There is however an order or priority which is set forth in the Probate Code. The following list shows the persons who have priority if they choose to be appointed:

1. Surviving spouse or domestic partner 2. Children 3. Grandchildren 4. Other issue (“Issue” means one’s descendants)
5. Parents 6. Brothers and sisters 7. Issue of brothers and sisters (nieces and nephews of the decedent)
8. Grandparents 9. Issue of grandparents 10. Children of a predeceased spouse or domestic partner 11. Other issue of a predeceased spouse or domestic partner 12. Other next of kin.

Last in the priority list are other interested persons which could be friends of the deceased or even a creditor.

If you have any questions about probate or the appointment of administrators and executors, or want to petition the court to become one, contact us. at Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation. Your initial appointment with us is always free of charge.

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