Can a person who uses drugs be appointed the administrator of an estate?

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Can a person who uses drugs be appointed the administrator of an estate?

My mom who passed away 2 years ago has a personal injury lawsuit going on. She did not have a Will. Can her husband, who uses street drugs, be appointed the administrator of her estate

Asked on July 30, 2016 under Estate Planning, Rhode Island

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Technically, there is not legal bar to a drug user being appointed as the personal representative of an estate. That having been said, since there was no Will the probate court will have to make the appointment. Typically, it goes to a surviving spouse. However, any interested family member or friend can still apply to be appointed. Accordingly, if you or another want to apply, the court will decide who the best party is for the position. If you can provide evidence that your stepfather is not that person, you may possibly be appointed to adminster your mother's estate as personal representative.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, he can be: the law does not bar drug users from being executors. If he performs badly as an executor, whether or not the performance problem is due to drugs (e.g. he is careless with the assets; he fails to do critical paperwork; he ignores the instructions of the will; he diverts assets to himself; etc.), he could be removed as executor through a legal challenge in probate court--but that's because of failing as an executor, not due to drug use.


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