Temporary Letters of Administration
Temporary Letters of Administration are generally issued in anticipation of permanent letters. They differ from full Letters of Administration because the fiduciary is acting during a period of delay in issuance of Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration. Generally the Court will award Temporary Letters when action is necessary to protect the interests of the estate.
When Would I Request Letters of Administration?
There are typically four instances where Temporary Letters of Administration should issue for a proposed fiduciary. They are:
- Where delay occurs in the issuance of letters testamentary or of administration on the estate of a decedent. (eg: there will be delays in getting jurisdiction over all necessary parties; where a nominated executor not able to serve; where the preliminary cannot be bonded; when trying to probate a copy of a lost will)
- Where delay occurs in the issuance of letters testamentary or of administration on the estate of a person alleged to be deceased (eg: there may be delays in showing that a person has died because you have to show person exposed to great peril or has been missing for three years)
- Where a person (known as an absentee) having an interest in property in this state has disappeared and has not been heard from after diligent inquiry.
- Where a person (known as an internee) having an interest in property in this state is held against his or her will, legally or illegally, in this country or abroad
Who can Petition for Temporary Letters of Administration?
SCPA 902(7) provides that the following people may petition for letters of temporary administration of the estate of a decedent or alleged decedent:
- Any person interested in the estate (beneficiary in the estate, including, but not limited to, a distributee, legatee or devisee), or the trustee in bankruptcy or receiver of such person.
- Any beneficiary or nominated executor under the last will of a decedent or alleged decedent on file in the court;
- Any person who would have an interest in the property of an absentee or internee if he or she were dead;
- A public administrator;
- county treasurer;
- A person interested in an action brought or about to be brought in which the decedent, absentee or internee would be a proper party.
The statute is silent as to who may be appointed. It is also silent about the priority of who may petition. The Temporary Administrator has all the powers of an administrator as provided in EPTL 11-1.1 except the authority to make distributions to beneficiaries.
How do I Petition?
To seek permission to serve as Temporary Administrator, you will need the Petition for Letters of Administration, the funeral bill, death certificate, bond affidavit, and an affirmation explaining why you are seeking to become the Temporary Administrator of the estate. If you are applying for Letters of Administration over an absentee, be very specific about when you last saw the person and why you believe they are now dead.
There are different procedures for dealing with estates of absentees, internees, and known Decedents. Temporary Letters of Administration petitions are fact specific.
We can help you petition for Temporary Letters of Administration.Contact us today for more information.
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