If a friend died without Will and there is no executor of the estte, now that there is a contract of sale on their house who signs?

My best friend died and she asked me a year ago (with witnesses) to be executor but we never finalized it. She had an investment account that she allocated distribution of upon her death which included five individuals, including myself. She has a surviving spouse but did not want him to be executor or to handle the estate. Now there is a contract on her house and I’ve been working with the realtor. The husband is not on the deed. We need to find out who can sign the contract and to whom the proceeds of sale will go to?

Asked on July 21, 2012 under Estate Planning, Maryland


Paula McGill / Paula J. McGill, Attorney at Law

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The administrator handles the estate's sale of assets and the payment of debts.  Once the administator is appointed, the administator signs the contract and transfers assets.  Check with the register of wills in the county where your friend resided before her death.  If there hasn't been an administrator assigned, and the husband doesn't want to do it, you can apply to be the administrator because you are a beneficiary in the will.

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