How Can an Estate Administrator be Appointed in Pennsylvania?

How Can an Estate Administrator be Appointed in Pennsylvania?


A will is an important document which directs who receives the deceased’s money and property at death. But a will also states who will serve as the personal representative of the estate to handle the legal and financial matters.


If the deceased died without a will, an estate representative called an administrator/ administratrix must be appointed. The process below describes the guidelines and process for appointment of an administrator.



How is an Administrator Appointed?


If the deceased did not leave a will, the Register of Wills must select the representative to serve. The key to handling this process efficiently is to obtain the cooperation of all the heirs. All heirs must sign a renunciation deferring to a single person (or co-administrators) to serve as the estate’s representative.


If the heirs do not cooperate, then a petition must be filed citing the heirs who refuse to defer. The cited heirs are entitled to file a response to the petition objecting to the proposed administrator.


Can Anyone be Appointed as Administrator?


The best-case scenario is when all heirs agree as to who should serve as the representative. The Register of Wills will generally defer to the wishes of the heirs if they are in agreement.


The representative does not need to be an heir. The representative may be a professional such as an accountant, attorney or an institutional representative.


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