Is the appointment of an executor or administrator and the formal administration of an estate always required?

The appointment of an executor or administrator is not always required. No formal administration is usually required when the estate is small (under statutory amount) and for payment of small sums by certain government, occupational and banking agencies.

Additionally, qualification is not necessary to transfer a motor vehicle title. In these circumstances, the will is probated and nothing further is required. Other instances where formal qualification or administration may not be required are the cases of joint accounts with rights of survivorship in banks, savings and loan associations or credit unions.

In most cases, the payment of life insurance proceeds to a named beneficiary and the transfer of real estate to a surviving spouse or other person where there were survivorship rights in the deed occur outside the estate.

Show All Answers

1. Where should the will be probated?
2. What does dying "testate" or "intestate" mean?
3. Who inherits the property of a person who dies intestate (person dying without a will)?
4. Is the appointment of an executor or administrator and the formal administration of an estate always required?
5. What are the time limitations regarding probate?
6. If the decedent died with a Will, what should I bring to the Clerk's Office?
7. If the decedent left no Will, what should I take to the Clerk's Office?
8. What are the basic duties of an executor or administrator?
9. Where can one go for more information or answers to specific questions?