Who Is Entitled To Apply For Letters of Administration?
If a loved one has died intestate, you may have learned that you will need to apply for Letters of Administration to administer your loved ones estate. Letters of Administration are similar to Grants of Probate. Both are applications for permission to access the deceased’s finances and deal with the estate.
The difference is, the executors of the will would apply for Grants of Probate. But when someone dies intestate there is no will, so an Administrator would deal with the estate as opposed to an Executor and the law has specific rules on who is eligible to administer the will of the deceased.
Depending on the relatives left behind, the deceased’s estate will be dealt with by one of the following family members, in this exact order: Husband, wife or civil partner, but not common law partner, adult children including adopted children but not step-children, parents, brothers and sisters or their children, grandparents, aunts and uncles but not their spouses.
Once you have established which relative is entitled to apply for Letters of Administration, you will need to decide whether they are going to deal with the estate themselves at this terrible time of grief, or if they are going to use a specialist probate service to act on their behalf.
Although applying for the initial Letters of Administration is quite straightforward, you will need to gather a lot of information about the deceased’s finances, before you fill out the application. Because there is no will to guide you on this, it can be a complicated affair in itself. So if your loved one has left significant assets it may be better to appoint a specialist service to administer the estate on your behalf from the outset.
It is difficult to focus on financial matters when you are grieving, and if children under the age of 18 have been left behind, or the deceased owns shares, businesses, land or property, dealing with an intestate will can become extremely complicated. Plus it can drag on for years, so it makes sense to use a specialist probate service to speed things up, especially if relatives left behind were financially independent on the deceased.
Another good reason for using a specialist service to apply for Letters of Administration on your behalf is taxes. The law requires that taxes are paid after death, not once the estate has been dealt with but a specialist service will know ways to get around this.
It is important that the relative responsible for administering the estate is aware of all these issues before they apply for decide whether to administer the estate themselves.