The Personal Representative is the person or institute (bank/trust or company etc.) placed in charge of settling an estate. The Executor of a will is the same as Personal Representative. Also referred to as an executrix if she is a female. If the probate court appoints the personal representative, they are called an administrator. This would be an estates where the decedent died without a will. They also may have left a will without naming a personal representative, or if they die, the individual he chose is unable or unwilling to serve. The Probate court will then appoint an administrator to handle probate of the estate in these situations.
Ideally, this can avoided if the deceased also names Personal Representative backups in case the first choice(s) isn’t/aren’t available to serve.
Although state probate laws can vary, the duties of will usually include: