Thursday, May 14, 2015


 (a) A formal proceeding for adjudication regarding the priority or qualification of one who is an applicant for appointment as personal representative, or of one who previously has been appointed personal representative in informal proceedings, if an issue concerning the testacy of the decedent is or may be involved, is governed by Section 3-402, as well as by this section. In other cases, the petition shall contain or adopt the statements required by Section 3- 301(1) and describe the question relating to priority or qualification of the personal
representative which is to be resolved. If the proceeding precedes any appointment of a personal representative, it shall stay any pending informal appointment proceedings as well as any commenced thereafter. If the proceeding is commenced after appointment, the previously appointed personal representative, after receipt of notice thereof, shall refrain from exercising any power of administration except as necessary to preserve the estate or unless the court orders otherwise.
(b) After notice to interested persons, including all persons interested in the administration of the estate as successors under the applicable assumption concerning testacy, any previously appointed personal representative and any person having or claiming priority for appointment as personal representative, the court shall determine who is entitled to appointment under Section 3-203, make a proper appointment and, if appropriate, terminate any prior appointment found to have been improper as provided in cases of removal under Section 3-611.
A petition raising a controversy concerning the priority or qualifications of a personal representative may be combined with a petition in a formal testacy proceeding. However, it is not necessary to petition formally for the appointment of a personal representative as a part of a formal testacy proceeding. A personal representative may be appointed on informal application either before or after formal proceedings which establish whether the decedent died testate or intestate or no appointment may be desired. See Sections 3-107, 3-301(a)(3)-(4) and 3-307. Furthermore, procedures for securing the appointment of a new personal representative after a previous assumption as to testacy has been changed are provided by Section 3-612. These may be informal, or related to pending formal proceedings concerning testacy. A formal order relating to appointment may be desired when there is a dispute concerning priority or qualification to serve but no dispute concerning testacy. It is important to distinguish formal proceedings concerning appointment from “supervised administration”. The former includes any proceeding after notice involving a request for an appointment. The latter originates in a “formal proceeding” and may be requested in addition to a ruling concerning testacy or priority or qualifications of a personal representative, but is descriptive of a special proceeding with a different scope and purpose than those concerned merely with establishing the bases for an administration. In other words, a personal representative appointed in a “formal” proceeding may or may not be “supervised”.
Another point should be noted. The court may not immediately issue letters even though

a formal proceeding seeking appointment is involved and results in an order authorizing appointment. Rather, Section 3-601 et seq. control the subject of qualification. Section 1-305 deals with letters.

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