What Happens If Probate Has No Executor

What Happens If Probate Has No Executor
Mick Grant
Mick Grant

Founder and Writer

An executor represents a dead person personally. They are the most important person throughout the probate process. They are responsible for managing and distributing the estate of the deceased according to the terms of their will. In typical terms, the person who writes the will is the testator. He or she appoints or names the executor in their testament. What if the departed dies intestate or without leaving behind a will? Or in case the will does not include any reference to the executor? The probate court takes up the responsibility of appointing one.

When the Will Has No Executor 

When people draft their wills, they do not forget to include the name of a reliable individual. That individual can serve as the executor of their estate. People even name second executors in their wills to make things work if the first one refuses to accept responsibilities.

Nevertheless, it is not necessary for a trust or a will to appoint the executor by his or her name as long as it offers a proper description of the person who should serve as the executor. For instance, if the testator possesses two children, his or her will would say that they appoint their eldest child to be the estate executor.

That’s where there is no name provided, but the court can ascertain reasonably whom the testate has thought of designating as the executor and considers this valid. The court-appointed executors come in when there are no executors named or designated in the last testament of the deceased.

Probate and Court-Appointed Executors

Though there are very few instances when the courts take up the responsibility of appointing the executor for administering and distributing the departed’s estate. This generally happens when the named estate executor in the will does not agree to take up the responsibility, and there are no backup executors named.

Next, the probate court appoints an executor in case the testator neglected to name an executor in his or her will. Last, if the deceased passes away intestate, obviously, there will be no executor, and in that case, again, the court is responsible for appointing the executor.

In cases of court-appointed executors, these are generally the close family members of the deceased. The individual chosen for this role should formally accept the task while also retaining the option of rejecting the same.

Independent Executors of Probate

These are individuals who have the power of administering and distributing the estate of a deceased without the probate court overseeing the procedure. In some states, the testators are allowed to name such executors in their last testaments.

Regardless of whether an individual dies intestate or fails to appoint an executor in his or her will, the probate court names an executor for administering the departed’s estate.

If the Executor Dies Before the Testator?

Suppose the executor dies prior to the testator. The best thing that the testator can do is contacting proper lawyers for updating the will. The entire procedure is easy and quick and offers individuals the scope of reviewing and updating their will.

When making changes to the will, it is important to ensure that the testator appoints more than one estate executor. This is necessary so that if one executor dies in the future, there will be yet another executor willing to take up the responsibility and complete the role of the estate executor.

Executor Dies Just After the Testator – What Happens

In that case, the proceedings will completely depend on whether a the court has granted Probate or not. Suppose the executor dies after the testator gets the Grant of Probate. They have to name a second executor. Until it happens, they have to finish off the probate procedure on the testator’s behalf.

Sometimes the executor passes away before finishing the management and the distribution of the estate after the concerned court has issued Probate. The very first step involves checking whether the executor has left behind any will or not.

If the executor has left a will, he or she will surely have named an executor. They would further take up the responsibility of completing the estate administration process. This is Chain of Representation.

This new executor might require a brand new Grant of Probate in his or her name. The will show the connection between the new estate executor and the one who has passed away.

The Bottom Line

All in all, handling the entire procedure where there is no executor during Probate is quite challenging. So, you must have them. 

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