Skip to main content

Exit WCAG Theme

Switch to Non-ADA Website

Accessibility Options

Select Text Sizes

Select Text Color

Website Accessibility Information Close Options
Close Menu
The Probate Guy Trusted. Recommended. Successful.
  • Call Me NOW for your FREE Probate Consultation

What If There Is An Emergency Before A Personal Representative Is Appointed?


After someone dies, a probate petition is filed. This Petition asks that a personal representative be formally appointed to act on behalf of the decedent’s estate. After a probate petition is filed, it usually takes four to six weeks for the court to issue Letters that allow an individual to serve as the personal representative. Usually, a person cannot perform the duties of a personal representative, even if they are named as executor in the decedent’s Will, until Letters have been issued to them. But, what happens if a personal representative has not been officially appointed and an emergency arises? A separate petition may be filed in such a case. Read on to learn more.

What if an Emergency Arises Before a Personal Representative Is Appointed?

Sometimes, emergencies arise before the probate court has heard the Petition for Probate and issued Letters to the personal representative. In such a case, you can file what is known as a Petition for Letters of Special Administration. This is a petition you file so the probate court can approve Letters of Special Administration and appoint a Special Administrator for a specific purpose.

If you’re considering filing a Petition for Letters of Special Administration, you should note that judges do not approve all Petitions for Letters of Administration. Just because you think something is important or is an emergency does not mean Letters of Special Administration will be approved. The judge must agree too for Letters of Special Administration to be approved.

The following are some of the situations when Letters of Administration would be appropriate;

  • The decedent sold real property and opened an escrow but passed away before the escrow was closed.
  • The decedent left a business, and there is a need to appoint a legal representative to run the business and sign payroll checks.

Also, Letters of Special Administration cannot be approved if a Petition for Probate has not been filed. If this Petition has been filed and a party wishes to ask the court to appoint a Special Administrator, they are required to use the Petition for Probate form, including an attachment under Section 3 identifying the reasons why a Special Administrator should be appointed and the powers the Special Administrator needs.

It is crucial to note that if a judge approves a Petition for Letters of Special Administration, the Letters will remain valid for a limited amount of time. Usually, Letters of Special Administration remain valid until the hearing date on the Petition for Probate.

Every case is different, and Special Administration is unique. Therefore, it is vital that if you are considering filing a Petition for Letters of Special Administration, you work with a skilled probate attorney. An attorney can help you create a Petition specifically suited for your case.

If you’re considering filing a Petition for Letters of Special Administration, schedule a consultation with a qualified probate attorney who can answer your questions and provide you with professional guidance.

Contact The Probate Guy for Legal Help

If you’re considering filing a Petition for Letters of Special Administration, contact the skilled and dedicated California probate attorney, Robert L. Cohen – The Probate Guy – today to schedule a free telephonic consultation.


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Skip footer and go back to main navigation