This probate petition is a temporary solution, much like the name suggests. The authority of the temporary administrator is very restricted. The temporary administrator’s power is generally contained to collecting and protecting the assets of the estate. This remains their responsibility until an executor or permanent administrator can be appointed.
An example of their limitations is that the temporary administrator cannot sell or distribute estate property except in very limited circumstances. Even in those limited circumstances, the probate court must first give it’s approval to the temporary administrator to do so.
The petition for temporary letters of administration is very useful when there is an immediate and urgent need to have someone appointed to take control of the estate’s assets. This probate petition is usually a preliminary petition and is almost always followed by a petition for letters of administration or a petition to probate will (in either common or solemn form).
There are several ways to select a temporary administrator. Usually, in cases of a will being present, the named executor will be selected. Or if there is no will then the person selected by a majority of the heirs will have priority consideration.
This probate petition is designed for use in emergency situations and therefore there is no requirement of either the probate court or the petitioner to notify any of the heirs or beneficiaries when it is filed. The probate court also has authority to appoint a temporary administrator without a hearing.
The person seeking appointment is required to post a bond with the probate court in order to be appointed as administrator. The temporary administrator is required to file an inventory showing all of the assets of the estate. This inventory is due shortly after they have been appointed. Also, the temporary administrator must file an annual return each year. The annual return will list all income and expenses of the estate. These requirements, as you may already note, are very similar to the requirements of a permanent administrator.
In the next issue, we will take a look at the second of the two special petitions that are available regardless of whether your loved one had a will or not.
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A temporary administrator is very useful when a bank is trying to foreclose on a home, when others are taking estate property, or when your loved one owned a business. This is especially true when your loved one had a business with a partner.
Our office assists families with these issues to make certain that the estate is protected and that everything is done right.
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