What is the difference between an Executor and an Administrator?

In a practical sense, there is no significant difference between an Executor and an Administrator. Executors and Administrators serve the same role in the Pennsylvania probate and estate administration process. They manage a decedent’s assets and ensure the proper distribution of those assets. The difference between the two is merely how they are appointed. An Executor is a person named in someone’s will to carry out the terms of that will. If the decedent did not leave a will, the Register of Wills is tasked with selecting someone to serve as Administrator. Executors and Administrators are both commonly referred to as the “personal representative” of the estate.