Administrator of Estate Removed for Misconduct

new york wills and trusts attorneySurrogate Nora Anderson sitting in New York County, recently removed an administrator of an estate because of lack of fitness to serve as administrator due to misconduct. A decedent was survived by four children. Letters of Administration were issued to one of the decedent’s daughters. There was one asset in the estate. It was a Manhattan cooperative apartment. The daughter who was named the administrator, resided in the apartment. She was evicted from the apartment when she failed to pay maintenance charges for the apartment. After her eviction the apartment was sold in a foreclosure proceeding.

Foreclosure on Co-op Apartment

The proceeds from the foreclosure were not turned over to the administrator. The co-op held the funds because they were concerned they would be misappropriated by the administrator. The administrator took no action to obtain the funds and distribute the assets from the estate.

The proceeding brought by the other children claimed the administrator’s failure to make the maintenance payments which resulted in the sale of the apartment in a foreclosure was evidence of her misconduct. They claim she had not met her fiduciary obligations and should be removed as the fiduciary on the estate.

Judge Acts to Remove Administrator

Judge Nora Anderson agreed with the other three children’s application. In her decision, she indicated that the estate was more than eight years old. The fact it was eight years old was related to the respondent’s inability or failure to fulfill her fiduciary obligations as the administrator of the estate. Instead of the estate being handled in a timely basis, it languished. Judge Anderson’s decision also stated the administrator was involved in serious misconduct which allowed the only asset of the estate to be sold in a foreclosure sale. Her decision held the respondent was not fit to serve as an administrator. Justice Anderson removed her from this position.

assistance for estate administratorsElliot S. Schlissel is an attorney with more than 35 years experience representing clients in all aspects of Surrogate’s Court proceedings, probate proceedings, and wills and trusts litigation in the Surrogate’s Courts throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He is the author of dozens of articles related to various issues concerning wills, trusts, estates and Surrogate’s Court legal actions. They have been published on his blog.