If a suit for wrongful death is to be brought on behalf of an estate, an Administrator Ad Prosequendum must be named. The action may be brought (1) in the Surrogate’s Court of the county where the intestate resided, or (2) if he/she lived outside the state, the Surrogate’s Court in which the accident resulting in the death occurred. (See Information Sheet for Administration
It is necessary at the outset to ascertain information in order to do an administration ad prosequendum. (See Information Sheet for Administration in index).
- Check the death certificate to determine which Surrogate’s Court has jurisdiction.
- List all next-of-kin with names, addresses and if minors, the ages. If there are any deceased next-of-kin then their issue must be named. These next-of-kin all have equal right to serve. Determine who will serve and the others will need to sign Renunciations prepared by the Surrogate’s Court indicating that the applicant may serve.
- List name and address of the defendant in the suit.
NOTE: If a Last Will and Testament exists, the named executor must bring the action after qualifying as the executor in the Surrogate’s Court.
The applicant will appear before the Surrogate to execute an Application for Administration Ad Prosequendum, which must indicate the name and address of the defendant in the suit. He/she will sign an Authorization to Accept Service of Process (Power of Attorney) in favor of the Surrogate empowering the Surrogate to accept service of process in any cause in which the fiduciary, in his or her capacity as, is party. If someone sues the estate and personal service cannot be affected, service of process may be made upon the Surrogate. The Surrogate must mail a copy of the process to the fiduciary at the address on the Authorization. The applicant signs the Qualification of Administrator Ad Prosequendum accepting this position and performing the duties of this position as law requires. A Judgment is entered by the Surrogate Judge pursuant to which Letters of Administration Ad Prosequendum are issued. The Letters give the authority to the Administrator Ad Prosequendum to bring the action and institute a proceeding or make a claim and the civil litigation may be pursued.
Any recovery which is obtained must be paid to the estate and must be administered properly. If Letters of Administration had been issued prior to the settlement, the administrator must return to the Surrogate’s Court to make application for an amendment of the estate value and post additional Surety Bond if required. If a general administration had not been done previously, an application for Letters of Administration and a Surety Bond must be filed.