What Is an Administrator Ad Litem?

An administrator ad litem is a person appointed by the probate court to represent an estate’s interests in a lawsuit. The term “ad litem” is Latin for  “during the litigation” or “during the action” so the administrator ad litem is only responsible for representing the estate’s interests in the lawsuit, proceeding, or action they are appointed for. An administrator ad litem is typically required when the estate has no existing administrator, or the personal representative of the estate has conflicting interests in the lawsuit or action where the estate needs representation.

What is Florida Probate Code Section 733.308?

Florida Probate Code Section 733.308 and Florida Probate Rule 5.120 govern the appointment of administrators ad litem. These provisions allow for the appointment of an administrator ad litem without bond when an estate must be represented in a proceeding and the personal representative is unable to do so due to a conflict of interest.

These provisions also clarify that appointment of an administrator ad litem is not necessary simply because a personal representative is seeking reimbursement for out-of-pocket payment of claims against an estate. However, Florida courts have determined that when the personal representative of an estate files a personal claim against the estate, the probate court may appoint an administrator ad litem to represent the estate in proceedings related to that claim. Given this legal distinction, it is essential for personal representatives to consult with an experienced probate litigation attorney before filing any claims against the estates they are administering.

When should I contact a probate lawyer?

Florida law requires that a personal representative who is not an attorney be represented by counsel. You should immediately contact an attorney if you are nominated as personal representative in a will, or if you are seeking to be appointed as personal representative of an intestate estate. If you’ve been appointed the personal representative for a Florida estate that owes you money, you should consult with your attorney to determine if the appointment of an administrator ad litem is necessary. A knowledgeable Florida probate attorney can help you determine the best course of action for receiving what you are owed and advise whether an administrator ad litem is needed if you file a claim against the estate.

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About RMO Lawyers, LLP

RMO LLP provides personal and efficient inheritance dispute services to individual and institutional clients. The firm’s attorneys focus on probate litigation involving contested trust, estate, probate, and conservatorship matters. Serving California and Texas, with offices in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Orange County, San Diego, Fresno, the Bay Area, Dallas, and Houston. For more information, please visit https://rmolawyers.com/.

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About the Author

Scott Rahn, Founding Partner

Scott Rahn resolves contests, disputes and litigation related to trusts, estates and conservatorships, creating a welcome peace of mind for clients. He represents heirs, beneficiaries, trustees and executors. He utilizes his experience to develop and implement strategies that swiftly and efficiently address the financial issues, fiduciary duties and emotional complexities underlying trust contests, estates conflicts and probate litigation.

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