What Is The Difference Between An Executor, Administrator, And Personal Representative

What is the difference between an executor, an administrator, and a personal representative?

Probate law has many uncommon terms that are unique to this area of law.

In this article, we’re going to review three of the most common of these terms, define what they mean, and identify when you should use each one.

My name is Erik Broel & I am the founder & CEO of Georgia Probate Law Group.

Personal representative

At our firm we help families who have lost a loved one navigate the complex and confusing legal process so they can make sure the estate is handled properly and their loved one’s memory is honored.

Three common titles for the person managing the estate are executor, administrator, and personal representative.

Each of these titles has a unique meaning, and we will go over each one.


The term Executor is used as the title for the person managing the estate when the deceased left a valid last will and testament.

The Executor is identified in the Will and confirmed by the Probate Court when the Will is admitted for Probate. We can contrast the position of Executor with that of Administrator.


An Administrator is the person who has been appointed by the court to manage the estate when the deceased did not leave a Last Will and Testament.

Since there is no Will to identify who should manage the estate, the Administrator is nominated by the heirs and confirmed by the Probate Court.

Personal Representative

The term Personal Representative encompasses both Executors and Administrators, and can used to properly refer to someone who is either an Executor or Administrator.

As a result, it is becoming more and more common to refer to the person who is responsible for settling the estate as the Personal Representative of the estate.

Next Steps:

Everything discussed in this article is for general information and is not legal advice.

If you are in a situation where you are attempting to settle an estate in Georgia, I recommend you reach out to our office at (770) 920-6030 to set up a consultation.

If you’re not quite ready for a consultation, be sure to download our Georgia Probate Handbook so you know how the estate is supposed to be handled.