With a Will, you appoint an Executor to follow your wishes and administer your estate. This person should be responsible, trustworthy, mature and have a good business acumen. Your Executor can be anyone - a spouse, a child, another relative, a friend, your doctor, your minister, rabbi,priest or your lawyer. If the administration of your estate will continue for a long period for young children or beneficiaries with a disability, choose someone who likely will survive that period of time. Before you settle on an executor, ask yourself a question: will the person follow my wishes or give in to the wishes of my beneficiaries? If the answer is the latter, choose someone else. Always choose an alternate executor in case your first choice is unable or unwilling to accept your appointment.
Without a Will, the court appoints an administrator, and this is usually the closest relative of the person who has died. This may not be the person whom you would have chosen. An administrator usually does not have as much authority and discretion as does an executor appointed in a Will. If your estate consists of assets which need to be managed for a time before being sold - for example, a business or rental properties - you need a Will and an Executor. You do not need an Administrator. The costs of administrating an estate without a Will usually exceed the costs associated with an estate where there is a Will.