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When a person dies with a Will, that Will is submitted to a local Surrogate’s Court as part of a process called probate. The executor named in the Will must file the Will alongside a petition requesting authority to manage the estate. If the Court approves, the executor must collect the decedent’s assets, pay debts and probate fees, and then distribute to the beneficiaries listed in the Will.

Administration is a similar process that occurs when a person dies intestate, or without a will. In this case, an administrator is appointed by the Court to oversee the estate. This is also a public process.

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