A person does not have the authority to act on behalf of the estate until they are officially appointed by the court. A person who is not appointed by the court does not have the right to access the decedent’s assets. However, many potential executors or administrators choose to pay the decedent’s bills with their own assets to avoid potential problems. Speak to an New York City estate attorney if you have encountered this situation. You can give us a call at (212) 233-1233.