Is it Wise to Apply for Letters of Administration Independently?
If you are faced with the burden of dealing with a loved ones finances when they have died intestate, you may be wondering if you should apply for letters of administration yourself.
While the initial application may seem straightforward, there are several factors to consider. For a start, if you will have to do a lot of legwork before you are able to apply for letters of administration. This will involve tracking down all your loved ones assets, finding out whether they are owed money and if they owe money to anyone else.
If the deceased’s financial affairs are not straightforward, this can create a lot of work for you. So it may be worth appointing a specialist probate service to apply for letters of administration for you and deal with the estate on your behalf.
Another concern is tax matters. If inheritance tax is due on your loved ones estate, some of it is payable immediately. This can be a huge worry but a specialist probate service will be able to handle this efficiently and accurately.
Even if the deceased’s financial affairs are straightforward, it can still take time from the initial application for letters of administration, to settling the estate. This can put significant pressure on you at a time when you are grieving the loss of someone close to you.
Many people who inherit money from a loved one simply have no idea of the timescales involved and it is common for them to put pressure on the person administering the estate. If you are concerned about this happening, you may want to appoint a professional to deal with everything on your behalf and take the pressure off you.
Though there is no will to be contested when someone dies intestate, some relatives may wish to appeal against the distribution of the estate. For example, if a relative or common law spouse lived with the deceased and relied on them financially, they may appeal. This will put a huge strain on you, and also on your relationship with them, so it may be wise to appoint an expert.
Another common problem is where children under the age of 18 are entitled to a proportion, or all of the estate. In this case it is important to appoint someone to administer the will on your behalf, and you should get legal advice immediately.