Q: Can an administrator of an estate make monetary decisions with out notifying the beneficiaries
A: An administrator is subject to the oversight of a probate judge. If the estate is one of "simplified administration", there is less supervision required than under normal administration. All administrators have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of the estate, its creditors, and the beneficiaries. If an administrator is acting in an interested manner or favoring one heir, creditor, or a third party over those persons or the estate to whom a fiduciary duty is owed, the court may call the adminstrator to account. There are certain reports and filings (for example, an inventory and valuation and a final accounting) that are required of an administrator regardless of the type of administration. You should consult with an experienced probate attorney to determine whether the fiduciary is meeting the obligations imposed by the office and the law applicable to the specific administration. If you have questions, you shouldn't wait to consult an attorney. Some actions, once taken, can affect the estate in ways that are hard to determine the cost to the estate. A judge may be reluctant to second-guess an administrator in absence of a clear record shwing bad faith.
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