When it comes to probate, there are two types of Court supervision. First, with nonintervention powers, a person may, by terms in their Will, relieve their Personal Representative (PR) of all duties imposed under the probate statute, or add duties not imposed by the statute, with the exception of the duty to act in good faith and honest judgment. When a PR is granted nonintervention powers, the PR’s administration of the estate is no longer directly supervised by the court unless a interested party petitions for a report on the affairs of the estate or for a citation in which the Court issues a show cause order to the PR to answer the well-documented allegations of the interested party. The Court may limit or revoke a PR’s non-intervention powers, under appropriate circumstances, or even replace the PR. Adequate reasons for removing a PR are waste of estate assets, embezzlement, mismanagement of estate assets, or any other reason satisfactory to the court. A removed PR must account to the Court for their management of financial assets during their tenure, and deliver all assets and paperwork of the estate to the successor PR. A PR with nonintervention powers may close the probate by filing a Declaration of Completion with minimal reporting to the heirs or beneficiaries.
We encourage PRs with nonintervention powers to keep creditors, heirs, and beneficiaries abreast of estate developments to the extent of their individual needs. Lack of information breeds distrust and injures family harmony.
Secondly, in full intervention probates, a PR seeks permission of the Court for each action they take. These requests are usually brought before the Court in batches, and most probates require two sets of requests. A full intervention PR accounts annually to the Court and heirs or beneficiaries about the affairs of the estate. The full intervention probate is closed by accounting to the heirs and legatees (the final report), which must include the PR’s receipts and canceled checks in the course of a final hearing, at which the Court approves the PR’s accounting and plan of distributing the estate assets (decree of distribution).
If you've been appointed PR of someone's estate and have questions about nonintervention vs. full intervention estates, give us a call at 253.858.5434 to see how we can help.