Defining Terms when Applying for Letters of Administration

six1 Defining Terms when Applying for Letters of AdministrationSurprisingly; approximately two-thirds of Brits die without making a will. In these cases, instead of applying for a grant of probate the next of kin (according to intestacy law) applies for letters of administration. This can be extremely confusing; opening up a whole new vocabulary of legal terminology. If you’ve never experienced this before – it can be very daunting.
Here’s a quick guide to some terms you’re likely to come across and what they mean. It’s written in a simple, concise manner and therefore, easy to understand. 
Administrator – The person who make the application for Letters of Administration.
Caveat - A simple form which can be lodged at any registry office that will prevent anyone from applying for Probate.
Deed of Variation – A legal document written after death to redistribute a person’s assets. It is normally used in cases of intestacy to mitigate inheritance tax liability, providing everyone involved agrees.
Grant of Letters of Administration – See Letters of Administration.

Intestacy – A case of intestacy or intestate death simply means someone who has passed away without a valid will.
Intestacy Law – The law that governs what happens to a person’s estate if they did not make a will. See also Rules of Intestacy.
Letters of Administration – are applied for in cases of intestacy. This is essentially the same as the executor of a will applying for Probate. The ‘letters’ are simply a legal document which give the deceased’s representative the legal authority to handle the deceased affairs. This is necessary when dealing with financial institutions for access to monies, shares and to sell property.
Partial Intestacy – is when there is a will but it does not fully dispose of the deceased's assets.

Personal Representative – The PR is the person dealing with the estate of the deceased person.

Probate Registry – A Division of the High Court permitted to give a person legal authority to deal with the assets of a deceased person.

Rules of Intestacy - determine who can apply for probate to deal with the deceased’s affairs and how the estate will be distributed. This is based on next of kin or closest blood relatives; you can find full details by clicking on the link to our intestacy chart.
You can bookmark the page for quick reference to use later on. If you need any more help, you can also call our free-phone number 0800 612 6105 – you can speak to a friendly, knowledgeable advisor right up until 10pm, 7 days a week.

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