General Question

AshlynM's avatar

If your spouse dies, can their parents be appointed administrator of his estate?

Asked by AshlynM (10064points) April 20th, 2010

Or is it the surviving spouse only that can do this? What if his parents try to horn in?

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5 Answers

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Generally, the administrator of the estate is whoever the deceased appoints to be in their will. If no one has been appointed, typically in a situation like that, it would generally be the spouse of the person who died. There are sometimes circumstances in which someone else might be appointed, but if that’s the case, it can be contested and taken to court.

njnyjobs's avatar

Depending on the current laws of the land, with or without a Will, if the parents petition the court for Administration of the deceased’s estate citing some valid reason and the court does orders so, then the spouse can appeal to a higher court. If the order is upheld, then the parents will have the say.

semblance's avatar

I am an attorney and I handle probate matters. Do not take this as creating an attorney-client relationship. It is my opinion about general law.

DrasticDreamer and ninyjobs are basically right.

If the spouse left behind a Will, then the Will controls. If there are conflicting Wills, the court will decide which one controls.

If there is no Will then the person died “intestate”. In that situation the surviving spouse would ordinarily be appointed the administrator of the estate, but there are some exceptions. As just one example, if the surviving spouse refused to open a probate case on the estate or delayed unreasonably in doing so, I can see where the parents could file a probate on their own and one or even possibly both of them could be appointed as administrator. That appointment might or might not be set aside if the surviving spouse challenged it. Basically, anyone can file a probate case. The court has a lot of latitude to adjust things like who stays in charge as administrator after the case is opened.

thriftymaid's avatar

If your spouse died intestate, the probate judge will appoint the administrator. So, yes it could be one the deceased’s parents.

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