How do you name someone executor if there is no Will?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How do you name someone executor if there is no Will?

My friend just died. Her son was her caretaker for years and she wanted him to be her executor. She died before she could get it done or put his name on the deed of their house which was

passed down to her from her mother. Now that my friend is dead, her brother thinks that he is entitled to the house. Does he have any legal standing? Also, how can her son be made executor without a Will?

Asked on May 9, 2019 under Estate Planning, Alaska


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, when someone dies without a Will, they die "intestate". This means that their next of kin inherit. In this case, that would be your friend's son, not her brother. At this point, her son can go to the probate court and make application to be appointed as the "personal representive" of the estate. (this is like an executor when there is no Will). 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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