How can I be the executor of my father's estate if he didn't have a will? 36 Answers as of August 09, 2013

My father just past a few days ago. No will has been located. I am the only heir.

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Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
You can apply to be the administrator of the estate in the county he resided in if he did not have a will.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 8/9/2013
Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
You should hire an attorney and have him/her open a probate estate for your father. The documents filed in court to do this should ask that you be designated as personal representative (sometimes this is referred to as 'executor' or 'administrator.'
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 7/25/2013
Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
You petition the court to become the administrator of the estate, unless the estate is worth less than 100000 in which case you can utilize the probate alternatives. This will give you the power to collect his assets.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/25/2013
The Krone Law Firm, LLC | Norman B. Krone
An executor applies to the handling of a Will. You can be the Administrator if you correctly file for a probate proceeding.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/25/2013
Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
See an attorney familiar with probate. Because you're your father's only heir, everything will be yours but the process of probate will make it official.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/25/2013
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    You file a petition of probating the estate and ask the court to be appointed administrator of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Law Office of Thomas C. Phipps | Thomas C Phipps
    You will have to petition the probate court to appoint you personal representative. You will have to distribute the property according to state statutes.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    Intestate law may give you priority, if your father was not married at the time of his death. You would need to split the estate with any siblings you have. As for the process of your becoming personal representative, you would file an application with the probate court in the county where your father resided at the time of death. An attorney would be a big help to you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Law Office of Edward M. Burgh, APC | Edward M. Burgh
    You can't. You can be Administer of His Estate. Hire a Probate Attorney where he lived. His/her fees are set by Statute.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Nolan Stewart, PC
    Nolan Stewart, PC | William G. Nolan
    It depends on your state law. In Alabama the process is called Administration of the Estate and you will need to hire an attorney to assist in the process.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    You would be the administrator of your father estate upon the filing a petition to probate the estate. The administrator's duties are the dame as the executor's if a will existed. Obtain yourself probate counsel to assist you; counsel is generally paid at the end of the administration of the estate, out of the assets of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    An executor is a person named in the will to act on behalf of the estate. Since there is no will, you cannot be the executor. You can however petition the court to become administrator and take the estate through the probate process. This is best done with the help of an attorney, and is an unavoidable process that you must go through to transfer your father's assets to you has his only heir.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2013
    Dennis E. Valentine Law Firm
    Dennis E. Valentine Law Firm | Dennis Valentine
    You can become the executor (personal representative) by filing an application with the proper probate court and giving notice to the other potential heirs. That may not be necessary depending upon the assets owned by your father.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/18/2013
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    You can still be in charge of the administration of his estate, even without a Will. Your title is personal representative.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/18/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    It's called intestacy. Don't go this alone, hire a lawyer to help you administer the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/19/2013
    Michael B. McFarland, P.A. | Michael B. McFarland
    In Idaho, where there is no will, you can file a petition for appointment as personal representative in informal proceedings. Unless you are already familiar with the procedure, however, it is best to use the services of an experienced probate attorney. The cost of informal proceedings is usually fairly inexpensive.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 7/18/2013
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    You cannot become the executor of a will without a will. However, you may petition the court to become the administrator, as it appears the decedent died intestate, without a will. Be sure to ascertain an estimated value of your father's estate, as you may not need to initiate a probate if the value of the estate is less than $150,000.00. Contact a probate attorney to discuss the process.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    I am sorry for your loss. You are not the executor of the estate if there is no will. Is his estate worth more than $150,000 or is there real property involved? If so, you will need to file a petition for probate to begin transferring the property to you. If not, you can use an Affidavit of Small Estate to claim whatever money is available.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Huddleston Law Group, LPA | C L Huddleston
    If there is no Will, you cannot be an Executor, but you can be appointed as "Administrator" (which is more or less the same thing) if both of you are Ohio residents. If he died in Ohio and you are resident of another state, it is more difficult. The estate of someone who dies without a Will is called an "intestate" estate. The decedent is said to have "died intestate." If your father had real estate or any other consequential amount of assets, you will benefit from having an expert probate attorney help you with this. As a general rule, you can expect the attorney fees to be somewhere between 1% and 2% of assets, and need not be paid until the estate administration is completed and the court approves the fee.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    You can file an affidavit with the court that your father die intestate (without a will). Once admitted by the court, you can initiate probate.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    You will need to open a probate and appoint yourself as the personal representative.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    The Law Office of David L. Leon
    The Law Office of David L. Leon | David L. Leon
    I'm sorry to hear of your father's passing. There are a number of options, depending on the size of the estate. For large estates, you can make an application for letters in probate court. For smaller estates, you may qualify for a small estate affidavit. There are a few other options available as well.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Law Offices of Patrick Edaburn | Patrick Edaburn
    If there is no will you would need to file paperwork with the court seeking to have yourself appointed executor and if nobody opposes that request it would probably be granted but you would have to distribute the estate according to the provisions of the law for estates without a will. This applies in California and of course is merely a generic answer, your situation depends on your specifics
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    You file an Application for Probate of an Intestate Estate with the Probate Court. The Court can then appoint you as the executor, called a Personal Representative in Colorado.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP | Kathleen DeLacy
    There is an order of preference for individuals to act so if you have priority you can act.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    You file for an informal probate of an intestate estate.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Yes, you can serve as executor. Anyone with a legitimate interest in the estate - family, friends, even creditors - can petition to be named executor.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    You can file a Petition requesting that the Court declare the estate to be intestate (no Will) and requesting that you be appointed as Personal Representative of the estate. There is a statutory hierarchy of people who have priority for serving as Personal Representative. If you are the only heir, you are likely the person with the highest priority.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
    In Missouri, if you are the only heir, and there are assets that do not have beneficiary designations upon the death of your father so that the assets have to go through probate, you need to see an attorney to open up a probate estate. The attorney would petition the court for letters of administration. You will have to post a bond. See a probate attorney for more details.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    Petition the court to be named the Personal Representative. No will is required.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray | Ronald D. Reemsnyder
    Go to the county in which he resided at the time of his death. Regardless of the county in which he died you need to go where he lived. Go to the probate court and talk to the clerk. The Clerk can help you become the "Administrator" since there was no will. As the Administrator you may then probate his estate.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    Go to Probate court and have the court appoint an Administrator.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Meissner, Joseph & Palley, Inc.
    Meissner, Joseph & Palley, Inc. | John Palley
    If you are the sole heir you can file for probate of the estate with no will. I would encourage you to hire a probate attorney as we make the process very easy for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    You can qualify as the Administrator (same thing as an Executor), even if there is no will. The procedure is to file paperwork in the court showing your relationship to the decedent, and that no one else has applied for appointment. It is a painless process.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    You may apply to the court to be the administrator. An executor requires a Will, so since there is no Will you cannot be an executor. If you are uncertain of your duties or how to be appointed, you should seek legal counsel where your father died.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/25/2013
    Elliott Law Firm, PC | Michael K. Elliott
    You will have to petition the Clerk of Court in the County where your Father resided. Any Will/Estates attorney will be able to assist you with this process.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/25/2013
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