Becoming Administrator CTA of an Estate
When no Executor is able or willing to serve, you will need an Administrator CTA to probate a Will. This post explains the concept of Administrator CTA.
Imagine Jack died last week in Brooklyn, New York. His cousin, Maria, found his Last Will and Testament while searching for details about his cemetery plot. The Will left a portion of Jack’s estate to Maria and named Maria’s mother, Jennifer, as Jack’s executor. Jennifer had passed away several years earlier. The successor Executor also died before Jack.
Jack left behind assets which did not have a beneficiary designation or otherwise pass by operation of law. Thus, probate was necessary. Maria became concerned about who could administer this estate.
Maria may seek to be appointed Administrator C.T.A. of John’s Will.
What does Administrator CTA Mean?
Administrator C.T.A. literally means “letters of administration with the will annexed.’’ An Administrator C.T.A. may be appointed when an individual dies and has a Will which either:
- Fails to name an executor;
- Names an executor and/or substitute executor who has predeceased the decedent or died during the administration of the estate; or
- Names an executor who for whatever reason fails to qualify as executor of the estate
In this case, Jack’s named executors have both died before him. Although the named executors have predeceased him, is Maria statutorily able to obtain letters of administration, c.t.a.?
Who can Petition to Become Administrator CTA of an Estate?
Surrogate’s Court Procedures Act Section 1418(1) states, in relevant part, that the priority of individuals entitled to receive letters of administration c.t.a. as follows:
- To a sole beneficiary of the Estate;
- To one or more of the residuary beneficiaries
If there is no eligible person entitled to letters who will accept, the court may issue letters to one or more of the “persons interested” in the estate.
In addition, Pursuant to SCPA 1418(6), the beneficiaries can all agree on a person who can serve as the Administrator cta. This comes in handy when you have beneficiaries are who cannot agree on who should be the fiduciary, or, for one reason or another, cannot themselves serve.
Maria is named as a beneficiary of Jack’s estate and therefore would be entitled to petition and obtain letters of Administration, C.T.A.
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