Once you die, everything you own has to transfer ownership, but you will not be here to oversee the process. So, who will handle your estate when you are gone?
The North Carolina State Bar explains that you can choose the person to take care of things for you or the state will appoint someone if you did put an estate plan in place.
Appointment by you or the state
If you have a will and estate plan in place, you will choose the person who will take over the care of your estate while disbursement of your assets occurs. This person is an executor. He or she manages your assets and ensures everyone follows your wishes when it comes to disbursement.
If you do not have an estate plan in place or you failed to name an executor, the court will appoint someone to handle your estate during probate. This person becomes the administrator. It is usually a family member.
The executor or administrator will keep your assets safe and make sure all your property transfers to the people you designated to receive it. Keep in mind that during probate, the court’s main job is to validate the will. Beyond that, your executor or administrator will handle almost everything else concerning your estate.
It is in your best interests and the interests of your loved ones to choose an executor instead of having the court step in to appoint an administrator. This allows you to ensure the person in charge after your death is someone you can trust to handle your estate properly.