How can I become the administrator of my deceased father’s estate and assets? 37 Answers as of November 29, 2012

My dad was killed on the job in an accident and now I have filed with the probate court to become administrator. There's four other children involved and two of whom can’t be trusted with my dad’s final remaining personal belongings and accounts.

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Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
The Probate Court will decide if you are the most competent and honest person to handle it.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/29/2012
Victor Varga | Victor Varga
File a petition for probate.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 11/15/2012
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
If your father had no will appointing an executor, family members can be considered by filing a petition with the court to be appointed or going to the probate court office and fill out the forms. Others could object once appointed, but court would have to hear evidence. If you become the executor, you may need to look into a civil lawsuit regarding your Dad's death.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/14/2012
Asset Protection and Elder Law Center
Asset Protection and Elder Law Center | Shadi Alai-Shaffer
Sorry for your loss. It appears you are taking the right steps but the best way for you to get the answers you need is to get a consultation with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/14/2012
Paul Nidich, Attorney at law
Paul Nidich, Attorney at law | Paul Nidich
Did your father leave a will? Has an application for Workers' Compensation been filed? You probably need an attorney. Hire one soon, so you don't miss a deadline or mess up.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 11/14/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    You need to file a petition with the court to be appointed administrator. The other children must agree to this. If that cannot be done, then a hearing is held for the court to determine who is the best one to administer the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks | Terrell Monks
    You need to file a Petition for Probate in the county court where your dad was a resident. That will be set for hearing and all given Notice of the time and date to see the Judge. The Judge will appoint the person(s) that she finds best suited for the job, if they are willing to serve,
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW | Carl C Silver
    You answered your own question. You filed with the local probate court a petition to probate your father's estate and that you be appointed personal representative. (The terms administrator and executor are no longer used).
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
    In Maryland, you may need to file with the Orphans' Court/Register of Wills in your father's county a petition to administer/open your father's estate. In that petition you can request to be appointed personal representative ("administrator"), and explain why you should be appointed under the rules/priorities. Depending on the specific facts, there may be a notice process and other formalities for you to be appointed and remain personal representative.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski | Gerald A. Bagazinski
    The court will hold a hearing to make the determination. You should contact an attorney to ensure that you are well represented.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield | Jonathan C. Reed
    You haven't mentioned whether your dad was married. If not you 5 children all have equal entitlement to be administrator assuming that none of you have been convicted of a felony, all are mentally competent and adults. Any one of the five can file to be administrator with notice to the others and if no one contests you will be appointed. If one contests, the court will have to choose based on pleadings and arguments.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    If the children cannot agree, the court will have to appoint the executor.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    You have answered your own question. You allege that you filed with the probate court. You need to comply with the required noticing provisions. If you have questions, you should seek legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Martinson & Beason, PC
    Martinson & Beason, PC | Douglas C Martinson II
    If he didn't have a will, you need to see a probate attorney ASAP. The first child to get to the courthouse with a bond will be appointed.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    You ask to be appointed, it is that simple, but I am sure that the way you feel about your siblings will be their feelings towards you.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Obtain the services of a probate lawyer NOW to assist you; the fees come out of the estate assets; Further you have distinct legal matters here. The estate will need to file a legal action against the employer of your deceased father, maybe under the workman's comp statutes or third liability statutes if the accident was caused by some material defect in equipment, other than the work site. The probate lawyer will guide you through the whole process, which may be a bit lengthy because of the accidental death of your father.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    If your siblings all agree and sign off, you can be named the executor for the estate. If not, you will need to convince a probate court judge that you are the best person to take on that task.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Well, if you've filed to be administrator, then you're in charge. Move to secure your father's home, make sure everything is insured. The personal property will tend to disappear, so you'll either have to get it in safekeeping or get over it usually it's not worth enough to sue anybody over.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    You become the administrator when the court appoints you. You application to become appointed administrator will be considered by the court and, if no one objects, you will be appointed. If there is an objection, the court will hold a hearing and pick the administrator.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    Sorry for your loss. If you are over the age of 18, and especially if you can get the other siblings to support you, you can petition the court, after filing the Will for probate, to appoint you as administrator. you probably will want an attorney to advice you as to the necessary steps in the probate [the attorney is paid from the estate assets and not your pockets]. There may be a Workers' Compensation death benefit of a large sum and perhaps a suit against any third party whose action or in actions contributed to the death of your father. There are Nolo Press books on how to handle estates; past volumes will likely be in your public library. You can also go to a law library and try to do some additional reading [also the Probate Code], but that might be difficult for you to understand. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Richard E. Damon, PC | Richard E. Damon
    Tell the judge your story.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    In Florida, Probate is one area of the law that you *cannot* represent yourself. If you were living in the state of Florida when the deceased died and have not been convicted of a felony, you are qualified to become the personal administrator of your Father's estate. Speak to an attorney familiar with the probate laws. Your siblings will have to agree to your being the personal administrator. If all don't, that is up to a judge to decide if you can be the personal representative. As the personal representative, all persons that have an interest in the estate must be given notice of each step that is taken in administering the estate, unless they sign a waiver of notice.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
    In FL, if your father had a Will, then the Will usually states who gets to serve as personal representative/administrator/executor (all the same). If he does not have a Will, and no spouse (spouse gets first priority), then a majority of the beneficiaries will have to consent to you being appointed.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Most wills name the person who is to be the administrator/personal representative. You need to look at the will.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    SmartWills
    SmartWills | Scott Pesetsky
    If you have filed to become administrator, then you are on the right track. However, if your situation is complicated by family strife, I recommend that you be represented by an attorney, so that you make your best choices going forward.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    That is an issue for the clerk of court to decide. Get you a lawyer who regular ly does work before the clerk.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    The Mills Law Office LLC
    The Mills Law Office LLC | Darren J Mills
    In NJ, the decision ultimately rests with the court but the statute provides some guidance and priority. I'm assuming that your father died unmarried. If married, NJ prefers to appoint the surviving spouse. If no surviving spouse then the statute allows the remaining heirs to be appointment administrators. You may have petition the court to have the issue resolved.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    GOLD & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
    GOLD & ASSOCIATES, P.C. | KENNETH GOLD
    You do it by filing with the probate court as you said you did.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    You need an attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    Consult an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    If you have opened probate, you would have to have filed to be appointed as administrator by the probate court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Get an attorney to deal with the case. Probate is not easy to do without an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Law Offices of Mark West
    Law Offices of Mark West | Mark West
    There are specific rules to follow and forms to file in the probate court for your county which can be used to have someone named as an administrator of an estate, some with different powers attached. Was there a will involved? Of course, if other siblings want to contest, that is possible. Your best cause of action may be to contact an attorney who handles probate matters.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Abom & Kutulakis, L.L.P,.
    Abom & Kutulakis, L.L.P,. | Jason P. Kutulakis
    You should consult with and retain an attorney. In PA if one dies without a Will, his/her children may be appointed to be the administrator of the estate. All of your siblings would be given notice of the opening of the estate and may opt to renounce their role as co-admin.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    I'm sorry for your loss. Call your county surrogate. You need to find out if your Dad had a will.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    It sounds like you have already made the filing. It is now up to the other interested parties to decide whether or not they will accept your appointment or object to it. If they object, it will be up to the judge to decide, but judges often "punt" in such situations, and if the family cannot agree, they place a public administrator in charge of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Winnick Ruben Hoffnung Peabody & Mendel, LLC | Daniel N. Hoffnung
    If you have made application to the Probate Court, the judge will decide.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 11/13/2012
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