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What is a special administrator?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2020 | Probate, Trust & Estate Administration

Ideally, an Ohio probate court will appoint the executor to handle the estate of your loved one without delay. A court will do this by granting letters testamentary to the executor of the estate, or letters of administration if a person has died intestate. But sometimes delays in this process happen. If so, a court may appoint a special administrator to take over the estate.

If you should have to deal with a special administrator, you should know, according to Ohio law, that the position is only temporary. State law describes the duties of the position and when a court may dismiss a special administrator.

Duties of a special administrator

Once appointed, a special administrator collects the assets and debts of the decedent in order to preserve them until the court appoints an executor or a permanent administrator. During this time, a special administrator may initiate a lawsuit or defend against a suit if they involve preserving estate assets.

Dismissal of an administrator

When a court has decided that a suitable executor is ready to take over the estate and grants letters testamentary or letters of administration, the powers of the special administrator will cease. The administrator will transfer all the estate assets to the control of the executor. If the administrator has initiated a lawsuit, the executor will take over the prosecution of the suit.

Litigating an administrator

By law, a special administrator is required to turn over control of an estate to an appointed executor. If the administrator keeps possession of the estate and its assets, a court may take action to compel the administrator to turn over the estate. Also, the executor appointed by the court may file a lawsuit against the administrator to recover the assets or the value of the assets.


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