How can I remove a co-administrator of an estate?

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How can I remove a co-administrator of an estate?

My brother and I inherited property from our mother. We were both listed as administrators of estate for 2 separate properties. We have since split the properties through a sale. Though I am the sole owner now, since I never refinanced, the mortgage is still in the name of my mother’s estate. I received an insurance check from my mortgage company issued to my mother’s estate. In order to deposit it, the bank requires a co-fiduciary form that we both must sign and original letters of admin. My brother is unreachable and refuses to get involved. How can I proceed without him?

Asked on January 21, 2012 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

Steven Fromm / Steven J Fromm & Associates, P.C.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your best bet is to go back to the company with the current documentation that shows you are now the legal owner of the property and that the estate is now closed.  They will then issue a check to the current owner of record.  If this does not work you have all the problems with reopening the estate.

Janet Brewer / Law Office of Janet L Brewer

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I understand that this is a California matter; if the estate was in a different state, then this information may not apply to you.

My first question is "were you 'discharged' by the Court as the administrators of the estate"?  If you were not, then you can write to the county probate court where the estate was administered and obtain a certified copy of the letters of administration.  This should cost approximately $30 (phone the probate court clerk and ask how to obtain this by mail and what the cost is).

If you have already been "discharged" by the Court, then you would need to begin the administration over again.

In either event, you might need to file a petition with the court to "compel" your brother to carry out his duties or be removed as a co-administrator.

There might be another solution, however ... have you contacted the mortgage company and asked them to issue the check in your name alone?  You might need to show them copies of the court documents splitting the estate between you and your brother, but (assuming you can find a real person to speak with) they should be able to reissue the check.

Good luck.

 


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