What’s the difference between an administrator, personal representative and executor?

All of these titles essentially refer to a person appointed by the court to administer the deceased’s estate.

Executor (or executrix if female) is the traditional term for the person named in a will (and subsequently appointed by the probate court) to oversee the estate of a person that has died with a will.  Some states have now adopted states that replace the term “executor” with “personal representative” so the terms are often used interchangeably.

An administrator or administratrix is the person appointed by the probate court to administer the estate of a person who has died without a will (intestate).


If you're involved in a North Carolina probate or estate administration, or if you want to make sure your own estate is protected, please call us at (919)443-3035. Ask about a free phone assessment, or contact us online. At the end of your assessment, you'll know the next steps to take, and we'll connect you with resources that can help. There is no obligation to you. The assessment is completely free.

Jackie Bedard
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