Who handles the estate if a parent died without a Will?

UPDATED: Jan 6, 2019

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Who handles the estate if a parent died without a Will?

What will happen?

Asked on January 6, 2019 under Estate Planning, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If your parent had a Will, then an executor would have been named. However, since they died "intestate" (i.e. without a Will), a friend or family member can go to the appropriate probate court (i.e. the court in the county in which your parent was domiled when they died). This person can then request appointment as the "personal representative" of the estate. This is the equivalent of an executor. If appointed, that person must adminster estate matters such as inventorying assets, paying off creditor claims and distributing the remaining assets to the heirs.

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