Probating an estate requires a person to be appointed to administer the estate and to account to the Probate Court for collecting debts due the deceased and assembling and distributing assets. If there is a will, this person is usually named in the will and called an executor. If there is no will, this person is appointed by the Probate Court and is called an administrator. The administrator or executor is responsible for:
- Identifying and accounting for all property, financial assets, and debts owned by the deceased;
- Collecting assets and, in many cases, disposing of property for cash;
- Paying in full the deceased’s debts and taxes from the decedent’s assets;
- Distributing of assets to the proper heirs; and,
- Prosecuting lawsuits where necessary for wrongful death or injury to the deceased.