Selection of Executor or Administrator in Michigan
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One of the first questions following someone's death is whether or not there will be a probate proceeding. If all of his or her assets are held in a living trust or in joint tenancy, no probate is required.
If probate is required, an executor or administrator for the deceased's assets must first be named. If there is a will, someone was named to serve this role, and the person does not need to be a Michigan or United States citizen or resident. Any legal person may fill this position, so a Michigan bank or trust company, as well as any friend or group of people such as children serving jointly, may act as executor or administrator. Although named as executor or administrator, no one is forced to serve, and the person may decline the job.
If no will is present, the nearest relative or relatives have the first right to serve or select someone else to perform the duties. While someone named in the will is called the executor, anyone appointed by the court is called the administrator, though the duties are otherwise identical. Although the titles may differ depending on how the position was assigned, the responsibilities and duties are the same.
Someone’s will may fail to name an executor, or that person may be deceased or refuses to serve. It is also possible that a bank was named, but the bank declines because the estate is too small. In any of these cases, the court will appoint the nearest relative who is set to inherit under the terms of the will, and that person is referred to as an administrator with the will annexed.