Who Can Serve as Executor?

Who Can Serve as an Executor or Administrator of an Estate?

An executor or administrator can be anyone: a member of the decedent’s family, an attorney, a bank, or a beneficiary of a will.   An executor is named in the will and chosen by the person making the will.   If that person is capable, the Court must appoint that individual as executor. If there is no will, the selection of an administrator is made by the Court.  The law requires that a family member or designee of the family member be chosen, unless it appears to the Court that it would not be in the best interests of the parties concerned, in which case the Court will usually appoint an impartial person or a bank.

What happens without a will?

It may surprise you what will happen to your estate if you die without a will.  One might assume that all of their worldly assets would go directly to their spouse.  While this may be your intention the laws in the state you live in determine the exact distribution of your estate if you do not have a will.  It also may surprise you that in Connecticut the estate does not all automatically go to the spouse.

Connecticut’s laws of “intestacy.”


How Is the Property Distributed When There Is No Will?

If the decedent is survived by:

Spouse, and children* of both decedent and spouse – Spouse takes first $100,000, + 1/2 of the remainder.  Children* take the other 1/2.

Spouse, and children* of decedent, one or more of whom is not the child of the spouse –  Spouse takes 1/2. All the children* share the other 1/2 equally.

Spouse and parent or parents (no children**) – Spouse takes first$100,000 + 3/4 of the remainder. Parent(s) takes the other 1/4.

Spouse only (no children**, no parents) – Spouse takes all.

Children* only (no spouse) –  All goes to the children*.

Parent(s) (no spouse, no children**)  – All goes to the parent(s).

Brothers* and sisters* (no spouse, no parents, no children**) – All goes to the brothers* and sisters

Next of kin (no spouse, no children**no parents, no brothers** or sisters**) – All goes to the next of kin.