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Public Administrator Files Petition for the Temporary Letters of Administration


This case is being heard in the Second Department, Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

The petitioner and appellant in the case is appealing an order made by the Surrogates Court of Queens County. This order was dated the 17th of April, 2008 and granted a petition and ordered temporary letters of administration for the estate of the decedent to the Public Administrator of Queens County.

Case Background

On the 9th of April, 2003, the decedent, allegedly executed a will that left his property to his former wife of over 35 years, the appellant in this matter. The will named the appellant as the executor and in the event that she did not qualify as executor, another was named to take over the duty as executor.

On the 29th of October, 2004, the decedent passed away. When he passed away he was living with the appellant at their former marital residence. The marital residence made up the sole asset passed under the will.

Upon his passing the appellant filed a petition for the will to be admitted for probate. At this time, the Public Administrator for Queens County moved to have the petition dismissed based on the grounds that the appellant did not join the brother of the decedent as a party to the probate proceeding.

On the 17th of January, 2008, the Surrogate granted the motion to dismiss the will for probate. A New York Probate Lawyer said the court’s decision was based on the ground that the appellant had falsely represented the decedent’s mother by saying that she did not have any other children. The court ruled that this false representation disqualified the appellant as the fiduciary of the estate on the ground of misconduct.

The Public Administrator then filed a petition for the temporary letters of administration. The alternate executor of the will, objected to the petition made by the Public Administrator for temporary of letters of administration and filed a petition of his own. The Surrogate Court granted the petition to the Public Administrator as they thought this was in the best interest of the estate.

Court Discussion and Decision

Manhattan Probate Lawyers said the appellant argues that it was unnecessary for the court to appoint a temporary administrator for the estate as she is currently residing in the property and paying all of the bills. She argues that even if it was necessary to appoint a temporary executor, appointing the Public Administrator was not appropriate.

New York City Probate Lawyers said when reviewing the facts of the case it is found that the Public Administrator may not be disqualified as serving as the temporary administrator of the estate. However, in these particular circumstances the Public Administrator should be limited so she may not sell the real property of the estate.

The court rules that in the best interest of the estate the order is amended to preclude the Public Administrator for selling the property located at 28-24 212th Street in Bayside, Queens, New York.

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