Dear Person Who Named it a Letter of Authority:
Most letters begin with “Dear”. However, there is no “Dear” at the beginning of a Letter of Authority. Why is it called a Letter of Authority instead of just a plain ole Order of Authority? That answer will never make sense to The Probate Pro. All other orders are simply referred to as orders.
Rather than questioning things that don’t make sense, The Probate Pro will make sense of what is a Letter of Authority. A Letter of Authority refers to the document (or Letter) that grants the personal representative authority to act on behalf of the estate of the person that died.
Probate refers to the court procedure by which a decedent’s estate gets administered after death. The Letter of Authority is issued following the commencement of probate estate and the appointment of a personal representative. A sample Letter of Authority can be found here.
The Letter of Authority states the name of the decedent, the probate court name, the name and address of the personal representative, and the limitations of any of the personal representative’s powers. The Letter of Authority has a seal embossed by the probate court to indicate its authenticity.
The probate court charges a fee of $12 for each sealed Letter of Authority. It can be presented at banks, financial institutions, title companies, law enforcement, and at any place in which the personal representative may be required to show proof of their legal authority.