Independent Administration of Estates Act (IAEA)

IAEA is Suitable for a Legal Document Assistant

Independent Administration of Estates Act


The IAEA is simple enough for a legal document assistant to process.  The Independent Administration of Estates Act effectively recognizes that many aspects of estate administration are essentially routine and that court supervision is generally not needed to protect the rights of persons interested in the estate. As to these matters, an IAEA representative at most has to give interested persons advance notice and opportunity to object, but does not have to seek court authority, approval, confirmation or instructions before taking an action unless an objection is timely made. Indeed, some administration matters are deemed so routine that an IAEA representative may take the action without giving any advance notice.


IAEA Does Not Completely Eliminate Court Supervision


By the same token, the IAEA does not completely dispense with court supervision. Some actions in estate administration are deemed to present such obvious or extraordinary risks of prejudice to the rights of persons interested in the estate that the court supervision will always be required notwithstanding IAEA authority (mos significantly, court supervision must be obtained for potential conflict of interest transactions between the estate and the personal representative or the representative’s attorney)

Making the intelligent decision to request IAEA authority and properly exercising IAEA authority require an understanding of the nature of “court supervision” under ordinary (non-IAEA) estate administration versus the scope of powers exercisable with IAEA authority.

The IAEA refers to those actions that may be taken  without “court supervision” and those actions that require “court supervision”  whether or not IAEA is granted. As used by the Act, “court supervision” means the judicial order, authorization,approval, confirmation, or instructions that would be required if authority to administer the estate had not been granted” under the Probate Code.

Representatives under the Act are still bound by normal fiduciary standard of care. Although the Act may excuse the need for court supervision, it does not reduce the personal representatives fiduciary standard of care and duty.

By Dean McAdams

Born a poor peckerwood in a Tujunga holler, Dean practiced secrets of the ancient & modern masters to end up liberated in the coastal paradise of West L.A.