California California Executor of Estate Executor Executor of Estate Priority to be Administrator Priority to be Executor

What is a executor of an estate?

What is an executor of an estate?   An executor of the estate in California  is a person appointed by the probate court who manages the assets of a decedent’s estate, and who is given the duty to distribute those assets by the terms of the will.

What is the difference between an executor and an administrator?  An Executor is usually named in a will.  An administrator is a person who is not named in a will, but who asks the court for permission to become the fiduciary who will manage the assets of the decedent, and who will distribute them to the decedent’s lawful heirs in probate.

Who can be an administrator in California?  Any person who can get bonded can be an administrator in California.  These include family members, friends, a professional fiduciary, as well as the Public Administrator.   A person who is in a divorce proceeding with the decedent at death, is not suitable for this purpose.   There is a list of persons with priority in the California Probate Code 8461.

Order of Priority of appointment of Administrator in California:

First, ask yourself whether you want the responsibility of becoming an executor of an estate.

Subject to the provisions of this article, a person in the following relation to the decedent is entitled to appointment as administrator in the following order of priority:

(a) Surviving spouse or domestic partner as defined in Section 37.

(b) Children.

(c) Grandchildren.

(d) Other issue.

(e) Parents.

(f) Brothers and sisters.

(g) Issue of brothers and sisters.

(h) Grandparents.

(i) Issue of grandparents.

(j) Children of a predeceased spouse or domestic partner.

(k) Other issue of a predeceased spouse or domestic partner.

(l) Other next of kin.

(m) Parents of a predeceased spouse or domestic partner.

(n) Issue of parents of a predeceased spouse or domestic partner.

(o) Conservator or guardian of the estate acting in that capacity at the time of death who has filed a first account and is not acting as conservator or guardian for any other person.

(p) Public administrator.

(q) Creditors.

(r) Any other person.

The order of priority has some limitations which is set in the California Probate Code.

If you need attorney advice regarding your rights to become appointed as an administrator or executor of a decedent’s estate in California, Email us at: