Administrators ad litem are typically appointed in cases where the estate’s administer/executor has passed away, though they also may be appointed in the event of a conflict of interest between the estate and the estate’s executor. For example, if the named executor also files a personal claim against the estate, an administrator ad litem must be appointed.
Additionally, if the validity of a will is challenged, especially on grounds that the listed executor is fraudulent, an administrator ad litem may be given temporary control of the estate while the court determines its validity.
Administrators ad litem have the same powers a standard executor of a will does and, therefore, they possess the ability to distribute assets of the estate in accordance with court orders.
[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]