is a court-supervised process for transferring a deceased person's assets to the beneficiaries listed in his 

or her will. Typically, the executor named in your will would start the process after your death by filing a 

petition in court and seeking appointment. Your executor would then take charge of your assets, pay you debts 

and, after receiving court approval, distribute the rest of your estate to your beneficiaries. If you 

were to die intestate (that is, without a will), a relative or other interested person could start the process. 

In such an instance, the court would appoint an administrator to handle your estate. 

Personal representative is another term used to describe the administrator or executor appointed to 

handle an estate