Letters of Administration

Letters of administration give the personal representative the legal authority to administer the decedent’s probate estate. The letters provide proof of appointment and qualification of the personal representative of an estate and the date of qualification. Letters of administration (testamentary) is a court order which is issued by the probate court. With Letters of Administration, the term “letters” doesn’t refer to any kind of correspondence or item to be sent in the mail. It refers to official court documents that have been produced as part of a probate hearing. 

This order legally entitles the executor to act on behalf of the estate. Letters of administration and letters testamentary both serve to put someone in charge of the management and distribution of a decedent’s estate, but letters of administration refer to that appointment when the decedent dies without a will, while the letters testamentary refer to that appointment when the decedent dies with a will. 

Most financial institutions and other entities will require a copy of the Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration before they will grant the executor any information about or access to the decedent’s assets. This court order is proof to all institutions that the executor or personal representative has legal rights and authority to administer the accounts.

Duties of the Administrator

Letters of Administration are commonly needed when a deceased individual dies without a will (“dying intestate”). The court will need to name an Administrator to grant the authority and qualification to manage the estate. When an individual dies without a will, the court also needs to determine the heirs to the estate. 

All of these legal procedures could feel overwhelming, especially during times of grief. That’s why it’s important to work with an attorney with experience and knowledge of probate hearings that will help you through every step of the procedure, from filing an application for probate right through to the hearing. 

Following the hearing and appointment of an Administrator, all of the necessary duties related to managing the estate, distributing assets, repaying debts, etc. can be performed.

If you need assistance obtaining letters of administration, contact us at the Barrera Law Firm to help assist you in this process.


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