Nebraska Revised Statute 30-2457
Special administrator; appointment.
A special administrator may be appointed:
(1) informally by the registrar on the application of any interested person when necessary to protect the estate of a decedent prior to the appointment of a general personal representative or if a prior appointment has been terminated as provided in section 30-2452.
(2) in a formal proceeding by order of the court on the petition of any interested person and finding, after notice and hearing, that appointment is necessary to preserve the estate or to secure its proper administration including its administration in circumstances where a general personal representative cannot or should not act. If it appears to the court that an emergency exists, appointment may be ordered without notice.
- Laws 1974, LB 354, § 135, UPC § 3-614.
A probate court's denial of an application for the appointment of a special administrator, brought pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, is a final, appealable order within the meaning of section 25-1902. In re Estate of Muncillo, 280 Neb. 669, 789 N.W.2d 37 (2010).
A special administrator is necessary to preserve an estate or secure its proper administration only when the personal representative is not lawfully fulfilling his or her duties under the Nebraska Probate Code, and at a minimum, requires an allegation that the personal representative is perpetrating fraud, has colluded with another to deprive the estate of a potential asset, is conflicted to properly administer the estate, or cannot act to preserve the estate, or the existence of some other equitable circumstance, plus some evidence of the personal representative's alleged dereliction of duty. In re Estate of Muncillo, 280 Neb. 669, 789 N.W.2d 37 (2010).
When an estate lacks a personal representative, this section anticipates the problem by providing for the appointment of a special administrator to administer an estate when a personal representative cannot or should not act. Thus, devisees do not have standing to sue on behalf of an estate merely because the estate lacks a personal representative. In re Estate of Hedke, 278 Neb. 727, 775 N.W.2d 13 (2009).
In the absence of evidence, no emergency basis under this section can be established upon which a county court could base its suspension of a personal representative and the appointment of a temporary special administrator. In re Estate of Cooper, 275 Neb. 322, 746 N.W.2d 663 (2008).
Once a personal representative is prohibited from acting under section 30-2454, an interested party may thereafter move under this section for the appointment of a special administrator, based on the facts that the personal representative has received notice under section 30-2454 and cannot act and that the appointment of a special administrator would be appropriate to preserve the estate or to secure its proper administration. In re Estate of Cooper, 275 Neb 322, 746 N.W.2d 663 (2008).
Taken together, section 30-2454 and this section set forth a procedure by which to suspend and remove a personal representative and appoint a special administrator. In re Estate of Cooper, 275 Neb. 322, 746 N.W.2d 663 (2008).
This section permits a special administrator to be appointed after notice when a personal representative cannot or should not act and also permits the appointment of a special administrator without notice when an emergency exists. In re Estate of Cooper, 275 Neb. 322, 746 N.W.2d 663 (2008).
A special administrator may be appointed for the limited purpose of accepting a claim against an estate. The imminent running of the statute of limitations by creditors against a decedent's estate constitutes an emergency for purposes of this section. This section does not require subsequent notice after the emergency appointment of a special administrator without notice. In re Estate of Wilson, 8 Neb. App. 467, 594 N.W.2d 695 (1999).