Ancillary Administrator

An Ancillary administrator is an administrator appointed by court in a state in which the descendant was not domiciled. The main functions of an ancillary administrator are:

(1)to oversee the distribution of the part of a decedent’s estate; and

(2)to manage the assets and liabilities of decedent’s estate in that state.

An ancillary administrator generally works as an subordinate to the executor or administrator appointed in the state where the decedent was domiciled.

In Steele v. Connecticut General Life Ins. Co., 31 A.D. 389 (N.Y. App. Div. 1898), the court observed that “the ancillary administrator is, as the term implies, one who is subordinate or auxiliary to the principal or domiciliary administrator. An ancillary administrator is appointed in a foreign jurisdiction to enforce the rights of the estate in that jurisdiction, because a domiciliary administrator is not recognized by the courts of a foreign State. But when, by contract or by statute, a liability of a debtor resident in a foreign State is enforceable in the courts of the State where the domiciliary administrator is appointed, there is no occasion for the appointment of an ancillary administrator to enforce such right of action, and if one is appointed, he does not acquire a right to enforce the cause of action to the exclusion of a domiciliary administrator, who first brings an action on the contract in a court which acquires jurisdiction of the debtor before the ancillary administrator reduces the chose in action to possession or takes any steps to enforce the liability thereon”.

In Cureton v. Mills, 13 S.C. 409 (S.C. 1880), the court further observed that “the ancillary administrator is primarily concerned only with the debts of the decedent at the place of ancillary administration, and with the administration of the assets only to the extent requisite to pay such debts. No authority appears to sanction the idea that the ancillary administration could make distribution in favor of foreign creditors except by the aid of the decree of a court of competent jurisdiction. An ancillary administrator, resident within the jurisdiction of the domicile of the decedent, and having there assets of the decedent, may be compelled to account there for his administration of all assets under the control of that jurisdiction”.