What is the Difference Between Independent and Dependent Administration?
Independent Administration occurs when a person has left a valid Will with a named executor that has been admitted to probate. During the probate process, the executor is taxed with the estate administration as the testator set forth in the Will. The executor is given generous freedom to carry out the testator’s wishes and handle the affairs of the estate as he or she sees fit, within the boundaries of a fiduciary. There is generally little need for court intervention in this type of administration.
In a Dependent Administration, the court supervises and is actively involved in virtually every area of the administration of estate. The executor is severely limited in scope of action. He or she must first seek court approval regarding paying the estate’s debts, sale of assets or the distribution of estate property. The court must enter an order allowing the administrator to act. The court will require the administrator to submit formal accountings of all activity of the estate in the form of a filing. As can be expected, a Dependent Administration should be avoided since it is likely to be more expensive, more time consuming and will most likely erode the value of the estate as a result.
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