Administrator Pendente Lite
It is a frequent occurrence in estate litigation that situations arise where the executor is unable to act, or there is no executor or administrator at all, and the validity of the will or the estate is very much in question.
In such circumstances it is absolutely necessary that it administrator be appointed to essentially preserve the assets of the estate, ”pending the litigation”, or in Latin, pendante lite.
The parties typically agree on a neutral person to be appointed as administrator pendante lite and a court application is made to chambers for such an order.
Such administrator has all the rights and powers of a general administrator, other than the right to distribute the estate assets.
He or she is very much subject to the control of the court, and acts under its direction, and the authority of section 8 of the Estate Administration act.
The purpose of this appointment is to provide interim administration of the estate until the action as being concluded, and basically nothing else.
Once the action has been concluded, this grant will cease, either upon the will been proved and probate granted, or upon the will being set aside and letters of administration granted in its place.
Courts frequently ask that administrators pendante lite be bonded, or that some other restriction be ordered such as real property not be sold or mortgaged without further order of the court.
A creditor or any person beneficially interested in the estate me apply for the appointment of an administrator pendante lite. Generally the court will not appoint a party to the litigation as administrator vessel the creditors and persons would agree to do so, but there is no absolute rule to this effect, it is just generally a conflict.
The court application is brought in these same litigation that is challenging the estate, and usually has an affidavit of the proposed administrator setting out the assets, the litigation, and the proposal.