Letters of Administration are legal documents issued by Probate Court to officially authorize a person to act as the Administrator of a deceased person's Estate.
These documents grant the administrator the legal authority to Settle an Estate by paying its outstanding Debt and distributing remaining Assets to Heirs and Beneficiaries.
Letters of administration are required when a person dies without a valid Last Will and Testament, or if the Executor designated by the deceased is unable or unwilling to serve.
In these cases, probate court will appoint an administrator based on the laws of the state where the deceased person lived.
Letters of administration stand in contrast to Letters of Testamentary, documents that also authorize a person to Administer an Estate, but are only issued if deceased had a valid will at the time of their death.
The laws that govern probate and letters of administration vary from state to state and so an experienced Probate Attorney or Estate Attorney is typically hired to help manage the process.