What Does Administration C.T.A. Mean in the Probate Process?
If you have done some research, either online or by visiting Surrogate’s Court, you know that the New York probate process is very involved. But wait it gets better. The Administration C.T.A. are special letters of administration you must petition for when the executor in the will refuses to act or cannot act due to death, incapacity or otherwise, or if the executor resigns or his letters testamentary are revoked by the Court. The C.T.A. portion means “Cum Testamento Annexo”. In plain English, “with the will annexed” or in even plainer terms, something added to the will. Consider the following example when Administration CTA is necessary:
Example 1: Adam’s will names his sister Janice as executor and his brother John as successor executor. At Adam’s death, Janice is no longer living and John is residing in a nursing home with dementia. What does this mean for the other beneficiaries in the will if there is no executor to file the will and administer the estate? A beneficiary in the will can now petition to court for administrator CTA letters.
Example 2: Adam’s will names his sister Janice as executor and his brother John as successor executor. At Adam’s death, Janice is no longer living and John is appointed as executor. Subsequently, it becomes apparent to the beneficiaries that John is not fit to be a fiduciary by his mismanagement and concealment of estate assets. Consequently, the beneficiaries are successful in their petition to remove John. The person or entity who succeeds John as a representative of the estate will have the title of an Administrator CTA.
Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act – SCPA § 1418
There are typically three situations when an Administrator C.T.A. can be appointed:
- First and foremost, the decedent has to have left behind a last will and testament.
- The decedent did not name someone to be the executor of his estate;
- The decedent named someone as the executor BUT that person passed away or cannot act due to incapacity, incarceration, felony conviction, unwillingness to act, etc;
- The executor was subsequently removed by the court or he resigned.
Additionally, according to Surrogate’s Court Procedures Act Section 1418(1), there is a hierarchy of which individual is allowed to receive the Letters of Administration CTA in the following order:
(a) to a sole beneficiary or if he be dead to his fiduciary;
-this is when there is only beneficiary in the will who stands to inherit the deceased’s entire estate. If that beneficiary has died, then the executor or administrator (no will) of that beneficiary’s estate can became the Administrator CTA of the deceased’s estate.
(b) to one or more of the residuary beneficiaries or, if any be dead, to his fiduciary;
– if there is more than one beneficiary named in the will, the residuary beneficiary can petition to become the Administrator CTA. The residuary beneficiary is typically named in the paragraph in the will that says something along the lines of “I give all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate of whatsoever kind and wheresoever to…”
(c) if there is no eligible person entitled to letters under subparagraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision who will accept, the court may issue letters to one or more of the persons interested in the estate or, if any be dead, to his fiduciary.
– any other beneficiary named in the will or a creditor of the estate can petition for Administration CTA letters.
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Should you have any questions on this matter or if you need representation as the beneficiary, executor, or administrator of an estate, you can call us at (646) 233-0826.
We serve clients in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island. We also serve Long Island residents. Email us with any questions at Kamilla@MishiyevaLaw.com.
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