How do I file for a petition for summary administration for my deceased wife?

Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “My wife recently died and I was wondering if I could file a petition for summary administration, and if so, what steps do I need to take. I live in New Hampshire.”

What is summary administration?

The summary administration is a process which may allow for the closing of the estate when it’s determined that the courts no longer need to supervise the process and you can complete the administrative processes on your own according to state law and the will of the deceased. This procedure may be requested whether there is a will or not.

According to the New Hampshire probate court, you may file a motion for summary administration to close an estate after if you have been appointed as the administrator or the executor of the estate and the estate of the deceased has been open for at least six months. If you decide to request a summary administration you are agreeing that the following is true:

(1) The estate of the decedent has been open for at least 6 months.
(2) To the best of the knowledge and belief of the administrator there are no outstanding debts, obligations, or unpaid or unresolved claims attributable to the deceased's estate.
(3) No New Hampshire estate taxes are due; or all applicable New Hampshire estate taxes have been paid, and a certificate from the department of revenue administration under RSA 87:26 has been filed with the court.
(4) No federal estate tax is due, or the federal estate tax return has been filed and all taxes reported thereon have been paid.
(5) Court supervision of the administration of the estate is no longer necessary.
(6) The administration of the estate will be completed without further court supervision in accordance with the decedent's will and applicable law.

You are also acknowledging that you do not need court supervision for the administration of the estate, you do not need a final accounting, and you have voluntarily asked the court to agree to summary administration.

(Information above is detailed in New Hampshire Statutes, Section 553:33 - Summary Administration)

How do I file a summary administration in New Hampshire?

According to New Hampshire’s probate court, you (as the administrator or the executor) may file for a summary administration by filing a Motion for Summary Administration form (NHJB-2149-P). This can only be done after starting the estate with the usual petition, submitting all the necessary documents required by the state, and completing an inventory. If the court accepts the motion this will eliminate the requirement for you to provide receipts for the balance of the estate or complete other final accounting requirements.

What happens if the summary administration motion is granted?

If the court agrees to the motion for summary administration they will close the estate and release the bond. This may not release you from further obligations. In fact, you are still legally obligated to complete the administration of the estate, but the court will not be supervising you. It’s important to follow all necessary laws and the requests outlined in your deceased spouse’s will.

For more questions about this process in New Hampshire you can contact the New Hampshire Circuit Court, Probate Division at 1-855-212-1234. You can also email them at [email protected]. Their current hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Bottom Line:

You may be able to file a summary administration without legal help. Be sure to review the appropriate state statute and make sure you understand your state’s laws


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