What do you do if need to act to preserve probate property before you can obtain letters testamentary or letters of administration? What if there is a probate dispute that is preventing the appointment of a personal representative? Temporary probate administration can provide a remedy in these cases.
The probate courts are generally hesitant to order temporary administrations given the cost and process involved. So there has to be a need for the administration. Absent a will contest, a temporary administration will usually only be granted if there is an emergency.
The probate court can order a temporary administration regardless of whether the decedent died with or without a will.
The probate court may order a temporary administration on its own motion or an applicant may request temporary administration.
As its name implies, a temporary administration is temporary. The order is only valid for up to 180 days. But if the temporary administrator is being appointed due to a pending will contest, the administrator can serve until the later of 180 days or when a permanent administrator is appointed.
The temporary administration order will specify the person who is to serve as the temporary administrator. The probate court can appoint any qualified and suitable person to serve as the temporary administrator. The court has wide latitude to determine who is qualified and suitable.
The temporary administration order will also specify the temporary administrator’s powers. There are no predefined categories of powers that can be granted, but they usually involve the power to operate a business, sue or be sued, accept service of process, or take possession of property–such as real estate.
Before letters of administration can be issued, the temporary administrator has to take an oath and, if required by the probate court, post a bond. In many cases, the applicant will need to see if the bond requirement can be waived or whether a safekeeping agreement will suffice.
The probate clerk will then issue temporary letters of administration within three days of the date the administrator is appointed.
The probate clerk and the administrator then must send various interested parties notice of the appointment.
The appointment of the temporary administrator can be appealed by requesting a hearing within 15 days of the date the letters of administration are issued.
The probate court may convert the temporary administration to a permanent administration if it is in the estate’s best interest.
We’ll address what information one needs to gather for probate next. Click here to continue reading. >>>>
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