What is Probate Administration? Probate is the court supervision of distributing a deceased person's estate when the decedent dies – without a Will; with only a Will; or with property that failed to get put into a Revocable Living Trust. The court will appoint an executor (if there is a Will) or an administrator (if there isn't a Will) as the personal representation of the estate, who will collect the assets, pay creditors, and then distribute the remainder to the beneficiaries. The court will also determine if the decedent's Will is valid, should there be any cause for concern.
Should Executors or Administrators have an attorney? Yes. When the personal representative is appointed by the court, s/he becomes an officer of the court and fiduciary to the estate. There are many duties and obligations connected with becoming the personal representative and you must be careful to “dot every i and cross every t.” Being a fiduciary is a great responsibility and the personal representative can be held liable for wrongdoings and sanctioned (fined) by the court. An attorney is best qualified for providing you with the guidance necessary to carry out the job as promptly as possible.