Ordinarily, a person specifies in his or her Will who they would like to deal with the matters of their Estate when they pass away. This is often a spouse, relative, or close friend—someone who the person trusts to act in the best interests of their Estate and their family. The person named in a Will to be responsible for the decedent’s Estate is called the “Executor.”
Sometimes, however, a person will pass away without first creating a Will, or their Will may not appoint an Executor. When this happens, somebody must request that they become “Administrator” of the Estate. Generally, this is a relative of the decedent. The Administrator handles the Estate in almost precisely the same way an Executor would, and regardless of title, the responsibility to act in the best interest of the Estate and its heirs is the same.