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is an administrator discharged after the closing of the estate?

2 Answers. Asked on Mar 19th, 2017 on Wills and Probate - Georgia
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I was not the administrator of my fathers estate when the estate was settled.Now i have a need to be appointed the administrator.Would the initial administrator have been discharged when the estate was closed.If not can they be discharged so that i can be appointed.Thanks
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Answered on Mar 20th, 2017 at 6:40 AM

There is no requirement that one be discharged when finished administering an estate.  It is a very good idea though.  Check with the probate court to see if the administrator was discharged.  If not, he is still the administrator.  If he is administrator, you will need to have that person proceed with the estate.  If that person can’t or won’t, you will need to have him removed as administrator and ask the court to appoint you to handle the estate. If it has been so long that the estate is closed, you will need to file a motion to reopen estate explaining to the court why you need to reopen the estate. 

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Answered on Mar 20th, 2017 at 5:14 AM

In many cases in Georgia, estates are not formally closed, because it is optional to do so. Therefore, it's not possible to know from your post whether the administrator was discharged and the estate formally closed or not. You can request a copy of the probate court file from the applicable probate court. Call the court first, because you will likely need to either go in person or send a letter with a check for the copies of documents in the file, and the court should be able to tell you how much that will be and the best way to get the copies.

If the administrator was not discharged, then it may be possible for the administrator to be discharged and a new administrator appointed. The existing administrator may also simply be able to help you take care of whatever is needed. However, if the estate has been sitting dormant for more than 5 years, it may have actually closed by operation of law, and you may need to go through the process of reopening it.

Other than getting copies of the probate court file documents, this is not a good do-it-yourself project, so please also strongly consider getting an experienced probate attorney to help you.

Best wishes.

This answer is being provided as general information and not as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created by this answer.

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