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The performance of executive duties in an institution or business. The Small Business Administration is responsible for administration of some disaster-relief loans. In government, the practical management and direction of some department or agency in the Executive Branch; in general, the entire class of public officials and employees managing the executive department. The management and distribution of the estate of a decedent performed under the supervision of the surrogate's or probate court by a person duly qualified and legally appointed. If the decedent made a valid will designating someone called an executor to handle this function, the court will issue that person letters testamentary as authority to do so. If a person dies intestate or did not name an executor in his or her will, the court will appoint an administrator and grant him or her Letters of Administration to perform the duties of administration.

An executor or administrator must carry out the responsibilities of administration, including collection and preservation of the decedent's assets; payment of debts and claims against the estate; payment of estate tax; and distribution of the balance of the estate to the decedent's heirs.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1 the political executive.
2 the conduct or disposal of the estate of a deceased person.
3 the management by a trustee of an estate subject to a trust.
4 the administering of something, such as an oath or sacrament.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

ADMINISTRATION, trusts. The management of the estate of an intestate, a minor, a lunatic, an habitual drunkard, or other person who is incapable of managing his own affairs, entrusted to an administrator or other trustee by authority of law. In a more confined sense, and in which it will be used in this article, administration is the management of an intestate's estate, or of the estate of a testator who, at the time administration was granted, had no executor.
     2. Administration is granted by a public officer duly authorized to delegate the trust; he is sometimes called surrogate, judge of probate, register of wills and for granting letters of administration. It is to be granted to such persons as the statutory provisions of the several states direct. In general the right of administration belongs to him who" has the right to the venue of the personalty: as if A make his will, and appoint B his executor, who dies intestate, and C is the legatee of the residue of A's estate, C has the right of administration cum testamento annexo. 2 Strange, 956; 12 Mod. 437, 306; 1 Jones, 225; 1 Croke. 201; 2 Leo. 55; 1 Vent. 217.
     3. There are several kinds of administrations, besides the usual kind which gives to the administrator the management of all the personal estate of the deceased for an unlimited time. Administration durante minore oetate, administration durante absentia, administration pendente lite, administration de bonis non, administration cum testamento annexo.

ADMINISTRATION, government. The management of the affairs of the government; this word is also applied to the persons entrusted with the management of the public affairs.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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