Administration Pendente Lite Law and Legal Definition

Administration pendente lite means an administration granted during the pendency of a suit pertaining to the validity of a will. Administration pendente lite continues during the litigation, and letters will not be revoked pending appeal from decree directing probate. It is also called as pendent elite administration, or special administration. An administrator pendente lite is an administrator whose powers are terminated by the termination of the suit for the purposes of which he is appointed. Administrator pendent elite is appointed where there is a dispute as to the person entitled to probate or a general grant of letters till the question has been decided.

In Gorsuch Estate, 1956 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 360 (Pa. C.P. 1956), the court observed that “An administration pendente lite is a limited trust, and expires eo instanti the will is established; the very name implies that it cannot exist longer than the pendency of the suit. Upon the establishment of the will, the executor may immediately act, even before probate. There is no necessity for a citation to revoke the letters pendente lite, but the register may proceed to grant letters to the executors. The power and duty of an administrator pendente lite is to pay and collect debts, file an inventory, but do not extend to a distribution of the estate.”