Contact the probate court and request the form necessary for appointment of administrator of an estate. Many states provide these forms online, however the forms will have different names in different states. For example, in South Carolina, it is called Application/Petition for Probate/Appointment; in Massachusetts, it is called Administration With/Without Sureties.
Complete the form. In many states, the form will need to be subscribed to, and sworn before, a notary public. You will need to provide identifying information about the deceased and his heirs.
Present your completed application to the probate court. If you are applying to open the probate estate in the same petition, the court in your jurisdiction might require other documents, such as a certified copy of the death certificate. You will also have to notify all persons of interest of your application for appointment. In most cases, you will need to fill out a Notice of Application and send it out to interested parties.
Pay a filing fee. This is a standard fee in some states and a fee based on the value of the estate in others.
Post a surety bond with the court, if necessary.
Get a court date and attend the hearing, if required. Many states do not require a hearing unless someone contests your appointment. When you are appointed, the court will prepare a certificate of appointment for you, which designates you as the estate administrator. In some states, this document is called Letters of Administration.