APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR
Special administrator defined
A special administrator is but a temporary administrator who is appointed to act in lieu of the general administrator (Vda. De Roxas v. Pecson, GR L-2211. Dec. 20, 1948, 82 Phil. 407).
A special administrator is a representative of a decedent appointed by the probate court to care for and preserve his estate until an executor or general administrator is appointed (Fule v. CA, GR L-40502, Nov. 29, 1976, 74 SCRA 189).
Special administrator as administrator of the estate and officer of the court
When appointed, a special administrator is regarded not as a representative of the agent of the parties suggesting the appointment but as the administrator in charge of the estate and, in fact, as an officer of the court (De Guzman v. Guadiz, Jr., GR L-48585, Mar. 31, 1980, 96 SCRA 938).
As such officer of the court, the special administrator is subject to the supervision and control of the probate court and is expected to work for the best interests of the entire estate, especially its smooth administration and earliest settlement (Valarao v. Pascual, GR 150164, Nov. 26, 2002, 392 SCRA 695).
Instances when a probate court may appoint a special administrator
The probate court may appoint a special administrator:
- when there is delay in granting letters testamentary or of administration by any cause, including an appeal from the allowance or disallowance of a will (Sec. 1, Rule 80, RoC); and
- when the executor or administrator is a claimant of the estate he represents (Sec 8, Rule 86, RoC).
In the second instance, the administrator shall have the same powers as that of a general administrator (Sec 8, Rule 86, RoC).
Appointment of a special administrator; when justified
The appointment of a special administrator is justified only when there is delay in granting letters, testamentary (in case the decedent leaves behind a will) or administrative (in the event that the decedent leaves behind no will) occasioned by any cause.
The principal object of the appointment of a temporary administrator is to preserve the estate until it can pass into the hands of a person fully authorized to administer it for the benefit of creditors and heirs (De Guzman v. Guadiz, Jr., GR L-48585, Mar. 31, 1980, 96 SCRA 938).
Appointment of a special administrator discretionary on the probate court
The appointment of a special administrator lies in the sound discretion of the probate court (De Gala v. Gonzalez, GR L-30289, Mar. 26, 1929, 53 Phil. 104).