Can I file for the Letters Testamentary on my own?

My father passed away without a Will. assets, property or debts. I have been informed I should obtain Letters of Testamentary to name me administrator of his estate. I have 2 sisters and they agree I should be administrator. The main reason for this is so that I can pursue a lawsuit on my father’s behalf (Product Liability Litigation). A law firm is handling this entire litigation, so I do not need an attorney for this case. Even though my father left no Will/assets/debts whatsoever, it was explained to me that any money paid on my father’s behalf, I would need to be legally made administrator of his estate.

Asked on November 5, 2013 under Estate Planning, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. The law does not require that you use an attorney to administer a party's estate, but all the law and paperwork can be daunting in this time of sorrow.  It is great that your siblings are agreeing to have you appointed and it is true that a settlement will have to be deposited in to the estate account for distribution persuant to the intestacy statute in California (he dies with out a Will know as "intestate"). Now, really the attoneys handling the lawsuit should be able to help you and have you appointed as administrator of the estate and then substituted as the plaintiff in the lawsuit if it has aready begun.  Good luck. 

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