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Can I submit a request to Probate Court in Georgia, for my stepfather's Administrative rights to be relinquished?

Mableton, GA |
Filed under: Estate administration

My mother passed away April 2012. I have 3 siblings. My step-father was appointed as Administrator of her estate, as my other siblings live in different states, and he was prepared to oppose any one of us if we requested appointment ourselves. She had no will. To date, he has not handled ANY of her business. Debt collectors are calling me, looking for my mother because he hasn't submitted ANY documentation to the companies where she conducted business. Also, does he have a right to dispose of her personal belongings as Administrator, without giving us a chance to go through it? Her china, that we bought her years before they ever met, he will not give to us. Nor, does he allow us to go to the house to get things we know she owned prior to them meeting. Can I take him to court?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. My condolences on the loss of your mother. You can petition the court to have your stepfather produce accountings and you can seek his removal as administrator. However, neither is a do-it-yourself task. You will need to consult an attorney who is experienced in estate litigation.

    If debt collectors call you about your mother, you should tell them that your mother is deceased and that they should contact your stepfather. Give them his name and contact information.

    This answer is not intended to provide you with specific legal advice regarding your situation, or to create any attorney-client relationship. The intent is only to provide general information. You should be aware that you cannot rely on this answer to provide you with any protection against tax penalties. You should always consult your own attorney in order to obtain legal advice.


  2. Each time a creditor calls, you should be giving your step father's name, address and phone number and let them know he is administrator.

    Bear in mind that if you gave your mother things, those are now her assets and get divided between her children and your step father.

    Having said that, if he's not doing his job, retain a lawyer to seek an accounting and/or his removal. This will be a stronger case if the siblings are all on teh same page.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


  3. I recommend that you start by having a well drafted letter from an attorney requesting an inventory and verified accounting. Sometimes a letter on attorney letterhead can work wonders to motivate someone to do their job. Failure to be responsive may make him liable for your litigation costs, with the proper foundation. He may have been relieved of filing repots with the court (you did not say). However, he would still be obligated to share information with the heirs-at-law. There are other tactical moves that he might make that might affect you negatively. You should discuss these with someone who regularly practices in this area before you do anything.


  4. It would be in your best interest to make an appointment with and attorney and let the attorney see the entire picture.

    Darrell B. Reynolds,
    Attorney and Counselor at Law
    2385 Lawrenceville Highway, Ste D
    Decatur, Ga. 30033
    404-636-6616

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