I received something in the mail called a “Waiver of Citation, Renunciation and Consent to Appointment of Administrator”
Why am I receiving this?
You received this because (1) someone is asking the Surrogate’s Court to appoint him/her as the Administrator of an estate and (2) you have an equal or prior right to be the Administrator.
Who has the right to be the Administrator?
New York law grants the position of Administrator of an estate in the following order of priority: Spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings. For example, if the deceased is survived by a spouse and a parent, the court will appoint the spouse, unless (1) the spouse signs a Waiver and Consent or (2) the spouse is disqualified for other reasons.
Why am I being asked to sign it?
You are being asked to consent to the appointment of the person named to be the administrator of the estate because you have priority to be named as the administrator, or are at the same level [e.g., you are both siblings]. The Waiver and Consent is used to speed up the process when everybody agrees who should be the Administrator.
What if I refuse to sign?
If you refuse to sign, the person bringing the administration proceeding will be required to get a court date and serve you with notice of the court date. This date is a deadline by which you must formally object to that person’s appointment.
What if I disagree with the appointment?
If you disagree with his/her appointment, do not sign the waiver and contact an attorney immediately. If you fail to object by the Court date, you lose your right to challenge his/her appointment.
Am I losing my rights if I sign the Waiver?
If you sign, you are
Waiving your right to be appointed as Administrator of the estate
Agreeing that the person named in the Waiver may be the Administrator.
Waiving the requirement that you be served with a notice of the commencement of the case.
You are not waiving your inheritance rights. Further, you have significant rights to review the actions of the administrator down the road.
Why is it asking that “a bond be dispensed with”? What is a bond?
A bond is an insurance policy meant to protect you and other beneficiaries from wrongdoing or errors on the part of the Administrator. For example, if an Administrator steals money belonging to the Estate and it can’t be recovered, the bond will protect you by paying out for the loss.
Often the person seeking to be the Administrator will request that the bond requirement be waived [a.k.a. “dispensed with”] in order to reduce costs and delay. If you agree, however, it is at your risk.