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Definition - What does Administrator mean?

An administrator is the person appointed to oversee an estate after a person dies if the deceased did not appoint an executor prior to their death. In a personal injury claim if a person is killed by the negligent actions of another person the court may have to assign an administrator to oversee the estate.

How do you request an administrator?

As mentioned above, often when someone dies unexpectedly they may not have created a will or named an executor for their estate. An administrator may also need to be assigned if the court reviewed the will but decided it was not valid.

If you are the next of kin to someone who has died from a wrongful death you will need to contact the probate court of the county where the deceased lived or owned real estate. Talk to the clerk and ask them how to file an administration petition.

There will be a small cost for filing the petition. Information concerning the deceased assets and property will need to be gathered for the petition. Information requested by the court will include the deceased’s birth certificate, the deceased’s name, their death date, their birth date, their last address, information about all living relatives, and the personal identification of the petitioner. The petitioner must complete the petition, have the petition notarized, and date and sign it. Copies of the petition will also need to be sent to all living relatives listed on the petition.

Role of the administrator after a wrongful death

The administrator of the estate will have several job duties. The most common responsibility is to take inventory of the deceased person’s assets. This can include identifying all of their real estate and personal property. Next, the administrator must distribute all of the assets and property according to the requirements outlined in the will. If there is not a will the assets and property are distributed according to the state’s estate codes. An administrator will also be responsible for filing all necessary tax returns and paying all debts associated with the estate.

Finally, the administrator may be responsible for filing lawsuits on behalf of the estate. For example, if the deceased was killed from the wrongful actions of another person or entity the estate administrator may be able to file a wrongful death claim for the surviving family members.

If you are the administrator and you are considering filing a wrongful death claim you will need to consult with a probate attorney and a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Wrongful death claims may have to be filed within two years of death. Probate cases, however, may have longer statute of limitations.

Can you file the administrative petition request?

Prior to requesting the court to assign an administrator, you will need to review the laws of your state. State laws can vary, but generally, to become the administrator, you must have an interest in the estate. Persons with an interest can include a spouse, a child, an extended family member, or a creditor. Contact an estate lawyer if you have additional questions about whether or not you have the right to be appointed as an administrator of an estate after a wrongful death.

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