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Court Decides if Public Administrator Can Serve


The case is a matter of judicial settlement regarding the proceedings of Ellis T. Terry, who is the administrator of the credits, chattels, and goods that belonged to Christian Krabbe, who is the deceased. The case is being heard in the Surrogates Court of Suffolk County.


This proceeding involves Ellis T. Terry, who was the Public Administrator for Suffolk County. A New York Probate Lawyer said the case deals with a judicial settlement for his accounts as the administrator of the estate. This includes judicial determination of the identity of the distributees of the decedent and a judicial determination in respect to certain claims that have been made. He is also seeking authorization for the sale of real property owned by the decedent.

Case Background

Christian Krabbe, the decedent passed away on the 28th of June in 1953. He was a resident of Suffolk County at the time of his passing. Letters of administration were issued by the Court to the petitioner on the 20th of July in 1953. The petitioner was administrator for the account from the 20th of July, 1952 through the first of March, 1955. The petitioner had been appointed by the court as the Public Administrator for Suffolk County. His term expired on the first of January in 1955 and a successor has been appointed since this time.

The question brought before the court is whether a former Public Administrator whose term is expired and a successor has been appointed may complete the administration of an estate that were started by him while he was still in office. The other question in this case is whether or not the former Public Administrator is eligible for compensation in regard to this estate.

Court Discussion

The term set for a public administrator is five years. Once this term has expired, the public administrator may stay on until his successor is appointed. During his time as a public administrator he is issued letters of administration. These are issued to the public administrator of Suffolk County in the official capacity and not to the individual that is holding the office at the time. Bronx Probate Lawyers said that once a successor is chosen the person no longer has the authority to deal with assets of any estates that were appointed to be handled by the Public Administrator of Suffolk County. The successor to the office will complete all necessary actions in the case. ‘

When reviewing the information that has been issued for this case, there are several cases to refer to. It is found that once a public administrator has completed his term and a successor has been named, he no longer has any claims for any of the probate sessions of which he was in charge of administering.

The court finds that the former Public Administrator of this case, Ellis T. Terry, does not have the authority to continue with the administration of this estate. Long Island Probate Lawyers said the administration of this estate will be conducted by the current Public Administrator for Suffolk County.

In the matter of compensation, the former public administrator will be given half the statutory rate from the time the property came into his hands and one half of the portions that were paid out by him. The bond for Mr. Terry will not be cancelled until the objections have been completed within the court.

If you need help with probate litigation, contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates. Our offices are located in New York City. You may contact us at any time to set up a free consultation. Our lawyers will be happy to discuss your case with you and determine the best steps to take in the matter.

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