Executor and Administrator Responsibility and Accountability Explained

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When you need information about executor and administrator responsibility and accountability, the Law Office of Paul Black provides resources. Call us today!

Author: Paul Black

Paul’s experience as the son of two parents with big health challenges is what led him to the work he does today and gives him first-hand knowledge of the challenges that many caregivers and family members face. After graduation from GSU Law, Paul was chosen from dozens of applicants nationwide as one of three 2010-2011 Borchard Foundation Law & Aging Fellows. Paul has been named as  a SuperLawyers “Rising Star” in the area of Estate Planning and as a member of Georgia’s “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend magazine. Published on: February 21, 2023.

Who Is an Executor?

Who Is an Executor

It’s never too early to start planning for your family’s future.

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An executor is a person who is responsible for executing the will of a deceased person. The individual named as the executor in a will has to carry out the instructions detailed in the will. In some cases, an executor or administrator may be given additional instructions by a court if they are not carrying out their responsibilities properly.

If you need an executor or are required to go to the probate court, contact an estate planning attorney from The Law Office of Paul Black. A skilled probate lawyer can help you through the probate process.

Duties and Responsibilities of an Executor

The duties and responsibilities of an executor are to oversee the estate assets of someone who has passed away. Executors have a fiduciary duty towards the deceased. The executor is responsible for filing all necessary income tax returns on behalf of the deceased, which includes any joint income tax returns filed by the decedent’s surviving spouse or another person. They are also responsible for gathering and paying debts owed by the deceased person and settling the decedent’s estate.

After conducting a final accounting, they also take care of any personal property left among the estate’s assets and distribute those and the remaining funds to the beneficiaries according to the instructions in the will.

It may be in your best interest to consult with a reputable law firm when drafting your last will and planning your estate.

What Rights Does the Executor Have?

The role of an executor is to ensure that the decedent’s wishes are carried out according to the terms of their will. Executors have certain legal rights and responsibilities that they must abide by in order to properly fulfill their duties. Examples include the right of the executor to consult with attorneys, financial advisors, other professionals, etc.

An experienced probate attorney can help you understand what it takes to be an adequate executor.



How Long Do the Executor’s Duties Take?


Since the executor’s duties include taking care of the deceased’s assets and paying off any outstanding debts, the process can take months or even years.

The executor’s duties are not limited to taking care of the deceased’s assets and paying off any outstanding debts. There are many other tasks that they have to perform during this period, such as settling an estate and preparing an inheritance tax return. Therefore, it is not possible to accurately predict the time that will be taken by the executor to effectively perform his duties.

Who Is an Administrator?

The executor or personal representative is often a family member or friend who has been designated by the deceased to manage their affairs after their death. If no executor is named, then the court will appoint an administrator.

An estate administrator is a person who is responsible for the collection, protection, and distribution of assets to heirs or beneficiaries of the deceased.


Administrator Duties and Responsibilities


Estate administrators are expected to ensure that all aspects of the estate are managed properly and follow the wishes of the deceased. Estate administrators are responsible for the efficient management and administration of an estate. It helps if they are knowledgeable in a variety of areas, including:

  • Tax law

  • Real estate law

  • Accounting

People seeking answers to their estate planning questions or assistance with their Georgia probate forms may consult a qualified lawyer.

What Rights Does the Administrator Have?

What Are the Differences Between an Executor and Administrator?

When the court has to appoint an estate administrator, they become the person in charge of managing the estate of a deceased person. The estate administrator can do anything that an executor can do, with some exceptions. The estate administrator, for example, cannot sell the property unless they have been given power of attorney by the deceased.

Before going to the probate court, many people find speaking with a lawyer helpful. Skilled lawyers from The Law Office of Paul Black can assist you through the probate process.


How Long Do the Administrator’s Duties Take?


Estate administration in Georgia is a complex and time-consuming process that requires careful planning and execution. Administrators must take into consideration a variety of factors. The timeline for settling an estate is contingent upon the complexity of the estate, and it can take anywhere between 6 to 18 months to settle an estate properly.

How Can an Attorney Help With Executor Responsibilities?

An executor’s job is essential, which is why a probate attorney may recommend that someone preparing their will should also list an executor. Suppose the decedent dies without naming the person who will be held personally liable for settling their estate. In that case, the court will appoint an administrator to act as the personal representative and handle the decedent’s assets and the estate’s debts.

Both play vital roles in the legal system, but it is essential to understand the differences between them. An executor is appointed by the deceased to manage their affairs and estate upon their death.

Although an estate administrator may also be called an executor, there is a slight difference between the two types of personal representatives. Whereas an executor is named in the person’s will, an administrator is someone appointed by a Georgia probate court or another legal authority to manage the affairs of an estate when no executor has been named. Your legal representative can further detail the differences between them and the significance of each.

With more complex estate issues, such as out-of-state probate, clients may consider consulting with a Georgia lawyer.


Executor responsibilities can be overwhelming and intimidating. That’s why it’s important to have an attorney who can help you navigate the legal complexities of estate planning.

An experienced attorney can provide valuable insight into the executor’s duties and responsibilities, helping to ensure that the estate is properly managed and distributed according to the wishes of the deceased. Attorneys can also guide how to handle any disputes that may arise during the course of administering an estate.

Having an attorney by your side will give you peace of mind knowing that you are taking all necessary steps in fulfilling your executor role. For questions about the Georgia probate court process, contact the attorneys at The Law Office of Paul Black today!

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