Finally, the primary distinction between letters testamentary and letters of administration is that the former requires a will, whilst the latter relates to intestate succession, which occurs when there is no will. The court will issue letters of administration after approving a petition. The petitioner must be one of the following:
• An heir or next of kin • A person who was personally involved in the death of the patient • Any other person the court deems appropriate
The purpose of this letter is to administer the estate of the deceased client in accordance with law.
An executor is required to carry out certain duties by law. Some common examples are distributing the assets of the estate to the beneficiaries, filing an accurate tax return for the estate, and accounting for any profits earned by the estate. If the executor fails to fulfill these obligations, a legal proceeding called a "probate" can be initiated to have another person appointed as replacement executor.
A probate involves two phases: first, the court proceedings known as "unsealing the will" which make the will available to all parties interested in the estate; second, the actual distribution of the estate according to the instructions in the will. If the decedent did not leave a will, then the laws of descent and distribution apply and the estate will be distributed according to such laws.
The most important distinction between probate and a Letter of Administration is that probate is issued to an executor named in the will. Beneficiaries are given a Letter of Administration after applying to a court of law with competent authority. In some states, including California, both powers can be obtained in one proceeding by filing a petition for informal administration.
When a will is filed with the appropriate authorities, it becomes effective at the time of death. The will can include instructions on how it should be administered, such as who should serve as executor or administrator. If there is no specific instruction about who should act as executor, then state law will decide who gets control of the estate. This person is called the personal representative. He or she must file an inventory listing all property belonging to the estate with the court. The personal representative also collects assets from the deceased's beneficiaries to pay off debts, distribute the rest of the estate, and return any surplus to those beneficiaries.
Probate proceedings deal with the legal process through which the validity of a will and the inheritance rights of the testator's heirs are determined after his or her death.
An "letter of administration" is a colloquial term for a document granted by the Surrogate's Court that authorizes someone to operate on behalf of the estate of someone who died without leaving a will. What exactly is a "letter of administration?" The document is really called "Letters of Administration," and it is a court order, not a letter. It is used by an estate's personal representative (usually an attorney) to transfer ownership of the estate's assets to another person or entity.
The phrase "letter of administration" was first used in New York State. Before this legal instrument was created, the only way to administer an estate was to go to court and be appointed as the personal representative. The creation of the letter of administration made this process easier and more efficient, which is why many people say that it is like getting a letter from the court authorizing them to act on behalf of the estate.
Anyone can request a letter of administration. The personal representative must then review the deceased person's affairs to make sure that everything is in order before submitting the request to the court. If there are issues with the estate, such as missing documents or other problems, the personal representative has the opportunity to explain these issues during the authorization process. From there, the court will decide whether to grant the request.
People usually need a letter of administration when they want to open an estate that contains assets that are not owned by a single individual or business.
Letters of Administration are official documents that provide an individual access to and management of a deceased person's estate. When someone dies without an estate plan, a Letter of Administration is usually provided, but a Grant of Probate is utilized if the dead had a written will. A Grant of Probate allows the personal representative to manage the estate until it is closed by a court order or the expiration of time limits. Generally, letters of administration are required for anyone who wants to act as an executor of an estate.
An administrator must file an affidavit with the court to verify his or her identity and authority to administer the estate. The affidavit should be filed within 30 days after the death of the decedent. An administrator can be any person who is not an heir of the deceased. He or she may be the spouse, child, parent, other relative, good-faith employee, or even a friend of the deceased. The administrator does not have to be an attorney or trust officer to serve in this role.
Once the affidavit is filed, the administrator can begin the process of collecting assets from the deceased's estate and distributing them according to law. The administrator cannot distribute the estate's assets prematurely. There are several reasons why a court might require that an estate be opened before letters of administration can be issued. For example, if there are disputed claims against the estate, then the administrator cannot distribute funds until these claims are resolved through litigation or some other means.
This person, known as the Administrator of Estate, is then in responsibility of paying off outstanding obligations and distributing property to heirs. Depending on the state law, the Administrator may be required to file an Inventory with the court, listing all property belonging to the estate.
You can be appointed by a judge or by simple written consent from the decedent's next of kin. The administrator does not have to be a legal representative (such as executor of will) but can be any person who is willing to serve. An administrator cannot sell or give away property of the estate without first getting approval from the court. However, he or she can normally act without being appointed by a court provided they submit an affidavit stating why they deserve to be paid.
The beneficiaries are those people who will receive something after the death of the decedent. They can be divided into two groups: pre-existing persons who are entitled to something even if there is no will, and new persons who come into existence due to the death of the decedent.