Difference Between An Administrator And An Executor Of A Will?

December 5, 2023    Deceased Estate Lawyers Perth
Difference Between An Administrator And An Executor Of A Will?

An executor is considered to be a person or institution who is the legal representative. They must be named in the will and should be involved in the asset distribution of the testator (will-maker).

The executor and the administrator of the will should collect the assets of the deceased and pay the liabilities that the deceased had. However, it is important to administer the estate as per the rules and regulations in the will. The executor and administrator are the legal personal representatives of the will.

This website blog covers the difference between an administrator and an executor.

What are the Responsibilities of an Executor of a Will? 

The duties of an executor in a will are stated hereafter:

  • The Executor will notify the beneficiaries who are mentioned in the wills.
  • They manage the property and goods. Moreover, the executor takes care of the business interests and protects the income.
  • They come up with the best available valuation of the estate and keep a proper list and record of the valuation. This is in the form of cash, business interests, and tax returns from the relevant authorities.
  • It is important to get the authority to oversee and manage the estate.
  • Executors must pay the needful debts when needed.
  • The executors can even establish trusts for beneficiaries who are under 18 years of age.
  • The executors can help in the division of the estate and prepare the statements for the benefit of the beneficiaries,

What Happens When An Executor Is Not Named In The Will?

The court comes up with a person who will administer the estate. This happens when the testator has not appointed an executor. The person appointed by the court is termed as the administrator of the will. The person who is considered to be the administrator can be the beneficiary who has the best possible interests when it comes to the estate.

Responsibilities of an Administrator

Some of the duties of an administrator are marked below:

  • They take custody and see the disposal of the deceased’s body.
  • They are responsible for collecting the estate assets.
  • The administrator overlooks the state as per the rules of the will.
  • The Administrator keep the proper record and pay off the liabilities.
  • They can sell the estate assets when they are not given to the beneficiaries.

Appointment Process Of an Executor

It’s essential that the executor is in agreement with or understands the instructions set out in your will. They can’t make assumptions or change directives if they think you’ve made a change of heart. The executor may be required to tell the Court or the Registrar of Probates what they’ve done if they feel they’re acting outside of the will or if a complaint is made.

Anyone over 18 can be appointed as your executor. Since the executor will have to carry out your estate’s duties after the death of testator, it’s not a good idea for the appointee to be significantly older than you or have a serious illness. The most common options are your spouse, partner, or children, a friend of the family, professional advisors like an accountant or a wills lawyer or a Trustee company.

Powers and Authority of an Executor and Administrator

The basic duties of the personal representative are to:

  • Collect the deceased’s assets.
  • Pay any outstanding debts.
  • Distribute the deceased’s estate to beneficiaries according to the will.
  • Protect the estate assets.
  • Maximize the estate’s value for the beneficiaries.
  • Respond to the beneficiaries’ actions in administering the estate.
  • The personal representative is responsible to the beneficiaries.

A detailed account of the estate’s assets and liabilities must be provided by the personal representative upon request of an interested beneficiary.

If the personal representative does not provide sufficient information or does not act diligently, a beneficiary may file a complaint before the Supreme Court.

This is the only entitlement a beneficiary has prior to distribution

The property of a beneficiary does not belong to the personal representative until he distributes the deceased’s estate

Compensation Of an Executor

No specific amount of commission is available for the executor. The court comes up with a commission in a lump sum or the percentage of the estate. It can be around 0.25% to 1.25% of the value of the transferred assets.

Role in Estate Administration of an Executor or an Administrator

In an estate, the executor or administrator collects the deceased’s assets, pays any debts they’ll have had, and administers the estate consistent with the deceased’s will or rules of intestacy if the deceased didn’t leave a will. They may also be known as the “legal personal representative” of the estate. The executor or administrator’s role is actually gratuitous, meaning they’re expected to do their job without being paid by the estate.

In most cases, the executor/administrator is additionally an estate beneficiary, so they already enjoy the estate. However, if the work done during the administration of the estate warrants a benefit or a further benefit, they are entitled to ask for commission for their “pain and trouble.”

Time-frame and Duration

Probate is the legal process through which one can prove the validity of a will. Once Probate has been granted, executors have one year or 12 months in their pocket to settle the executor’s estate administration for the deceased.

If an executor fails to settle their estate within this period, they will be liable for interest on the debts owed by the estate, as well as providing security for the debts owed.

The court may also remove an executor from their position if they do not settle their estate within 12 months.


It is important to know and have a basic idea about the key differences between an administrator and an executor. They must be able to handle every aspect of the will smoothly and efficiently. The executor and administrator have several duties towards the beneficiaries of the will. They should know about their duties in order to offer the best interests of the beneficiaries.

The beneficiaries can come up with different remedies to avoid any form of delay in the estate administration and waste the assets of the estate. Beneficiaries must consider the administrator and the executor responsible for the loss in the estate, which are caused by their action and inaction. Consider getting expert advice and guidance from deceased Estate lawyers

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