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Administrator in Legal English

1/3/18 Administrator in Legal English


Do you know what “administrator” means? Not in business, but in legal English.

An administrator is a person appointed by a probate court to handle the distribution of the property of someone who has died without a will, or with a will that fails to name someone to carry out this task.

And what about an “administrator Ad Litem”?
An administrator ad litem is a person appointed by a probate court to represent an estate during a lawsuit. (By the way, ad litem is Latin for “during the litigation.”)

An administrator ad litem is appointed only if there is no existing executor or administrator of the estate, or if the executor or administrator has conflicting interests. For example, Jerry’s will leaves most of his property to his brother, Jeff, and also names Jeff as executor of the will. But Jerry’s sister, Janine, feels that Jerry made the will under improper pressure from Jeff and brings a lawsuit to challenge it. The court appoints an administrator ad litem to represent Jerry’s estate while the lawsuit is in progress. Also known as administrator ad prosequendum, meaning administrator “during the prosecution.”

Today we just analyzed the meaning of “administrator” in legal English, more specifically in the context of probate law or law of succession, which is also called law of descent and distribution. Did you know that?

Descent and Distribution
The rules by which an estate is distributed after the owner’s death. This may occur according to the decedent’s estate plan or according to intestate laws if the decedent died without an estate plan.
In our next e-Legal Lesson, we’ll analyze other types of administrators.


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