An estate representative is appointed by a Surrogate Court to handle the processing of estate matters and represent the estate of the loved one (decedent) in any legal claim or lawsuit.  When someone dies with a Last Will and Testament, the Will is submitted to Surrogate Court (known as “probating the will”) and the person named in the Will as the Executor (male) or Executrix (female) is appointed by the court.  When someone dies without a will, New York law sets forth a process to appoint a family member as the Administrator (male) or Administratrix (female) of the estate.  Generally, it is the surviving spouse, adult child or parent of the deceased family member who takes on this role.