Can Convict Become Administrator of Estate? - Posted by IB (NJ)

Posted by Jimmy on May 09, 2006 at 11:39:02:

If no one objects ot the inmate serving as PR, is it unlikely that anyone will object when the petition opening probate requests a waiver of bond.

Can Convict Become Administrator of Estate? - Posted by IB (NJ)

Posted by IB (NJ) on May 08, 2006 at 19:00:29:

I’m in the process of tracking the heirs of 2 owners (same property) who are both deceased. One of the owners had only one child (deceased) who only had one child who is now in jail. I need him to become Administrator to his grandmother’s estate, even though he’s in prison. Is this possible?

I read on here something about an inmate giving his defense attorney ‘power-of-attorney’ to sell a house. Is that possible?


A LIttle Twisty - Posted by Jimmy

Posted by Jimmy on May 09, 2006 at 07:47:48:

two problems here.

  1. small problem (probably non-problem). if the inmate is nominated as the initial PR, and no one objects, he may well get the appointment. Uncontested probate filings get rubber-stamped in most placed. I am not aware of any prohibitions on felons (whether in jail or out) serving as PR’s. The only prohibition I see in the California code (which is probably similar to other states) is for minor children.

If anyone objects, expect your inmate to lose the appointment.

  1. Bigger problem. Its one thing for a person to grant a POA to another. Its an entirely different situaton when a fiduciary (a trustee or PR) wants to delegate responsibilites to another person via a POA, or any other instrument. I would not be surprised if that is a big NO NO.

Here’s the Deal. Most stuff in probates is predictable, and can be anticipated weeks or months in advance. The attorney could probably handle most of the work from his office, and maybe visit the inmate 3 or 4 times over the probate period. some things must be signed by the inmate.

SIDE THOUGHT. If no one is going to object, then pick someone on the outside. doesn’t have to be related. they get paid for their work. the atty will not want the job. and neither do you. if you take the job, you take on fiduciary responsibilities to the estate, which you do not want. You are sitting across the table from estate, and want to stay there. This eliminates self-dealing issues.

Not if he’s a felon (nt) - Posted by Joe Kaiser

Posted by Joe Kaiser on May 09, 2006 at 01:31:05:

Re: Can Convict Become Administrator of Estate? - Posted by Cletus

Posted by Cletus on May 08, 2006 at 23:25:53:


I’m sure JTs’ right even though I have no idea what he was talking about. I am going to a family reunion this weekend, so if you can hold out until then, I’m sure I can get a half dozen or so opinions on the subject. I’ll keep you posted.


Sure, very possible and probable - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on May 08, 2006 at 22:13:36:


When folks are convicted and must spend time away, they are encouraged to appoint an Atty in Fact, POA to handle personal and legal matters, while they are incarcerated. So it is highly likely that this may have already been done. The Atty in Fact could handle the Administrators duties, but would likely need court approval and a performance bond, in most cases.


Another possible problem; another probate solution - Posted by Rick Harmon

Posted by Rick Harmon on May 09, 2006 at 10:18:19:

I realize that this matter is in NJ (the probate statutes I’m unfamiliar with) however, in California, we require most administrators to obtain an indemnification bond upon qualifying as the proposed administrator. That would be tough, if required.

Bond companies (actually we only have one main provider of this service in So Cal). I suppose the attorney could arrange to have all funds held in a blocked account and make other such provisions that might satisfy the bond company and the court.

However, I don’t think this is would work very well from a practical perspective, even if you did get the incarcerated person appointed. Too many problems getting things done while people are in prison (I’ve got a probate with a similar storyline going right now).

My bet would be to either to arrange for all interested parties to nominate a 3rd party who is cooperative, bondable, accessable, and friendly to your plan.

Absent that plan, you could have yourself appointed administrator, but as other posters have rightly warned, you’d then have a fiduciary duty to all interested parties. Of course, If you purchase all of the heirs interests and creditor’s claims, there would be no one to object to how you execute your plan, beyond the court.

Re: Not if he’s a felon (nt) - Posted by Joe

Posted by Joe on May 09, 2006 at 11:33:02:

Why? And wouldn’t it vary state by state?