Q: If an exexutor dies before administration is complete, can the executor of their estate take on the responsibilty?
My grandmother passed in 2012 leaving two daughters (my mother and aunt) to share both real and personal property according to her will. My mother was the named executor of her estate. My mother passed away in August, 13, 2013 before administration was complete. My aunt petitioned to probate will in solemn form and for letters of administration with will annexed on Oct 1, 2013. As heirs to my mother's estate (my mother's estate was no administration necessary) my brother and myself were named as heirs in my grandmother's estate (has a will). My aunt died last week. Can I petition to probate will now? Will my aunt's daughter be able to take on position without my consent?
A: You state that there was a will. However, you also mention that there was a "no administration necessary" proceeding. As stated in Georgia Probate & Administration, "[g]enerally, an application for no administration necessary is appropriate if (1) a person dies without a will; (2) a personal representative has been appointed; and (3) the heirs have agreed upon a division of the estate." Therefore, it does make sense that there was both a petition for no administration necessary, and a petition to probate a will. Regarding the question about whom is entitled to serve as successor executor, O.C.G.A. § 53-6-10(d) provides: “If the will names a person to fill a vacancy in the office of executor or provides a method of selecting a personal representative to fill the vacancy, any vacancy shall be filled or selection made as provided in the will.” If you wish to protect any interest which you have in this estate, you should consult with a probate attorney, who could advise you based on a review of the pertinent facts and law.
A: In my previous response, I missed the fact that your reference to no administration necessary related to your mother's estate and not the estate of your grandmother. Therefore, please disregard the part of my previous response related to no administration necessary. The statute I quoted deals with filling a vacancy in the office of executor.
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