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Who Is Entitled to Administer An Estate If There Is No Will?

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

When a person dies, someone needs to take responsibility for the estate.

This will include arranging the funeral, collecting in assets, settling the liabilities, and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries. Often, they will be required to apply for a Grant of Representation. A Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration with Will annexed, and Letters of Administration are all types of Grants of Representation, and the difference depends on whether or not the deceased passed away with or without a Will.

If you make a Will, you get to choose who you want to administer your estate called an Executor. If there is no Will, there is no Executor, and the Non-Contentious Probate Rules determine who is entitled to act as ‘administrator’ in the estate.

Rule 22 provides an order of priority for those entitled to act as administrator:
(a) the surviving husband or wife;
(b) the children of the deceased and the issue of any deceased child who died before the deceased;
(c) the father and mother of the deceased;
(d) brothers and sisters of the whole blood and the issue of any deceased brother or sister of the whole blood who died before the deceased;
(e) brothers and sisters of the half blood and the issue of any deceased brother or sister of the half blood who died before the deceased;
(f) grandparents;
(g) uncles and aunts of the whole blood and the issue of any deceased uncle or aunt of the whole blood who died before the deceased;
(h) uncles and aunts of the half blood and the issue of any deceased uncle or aunt of the half blood who died before the deceased.

In instances where (b), the children of the deceased are entitled to apply, and they are minors, then those with parental responsibility shall take out the grant on behalf of the minors for their use and benefit until they attain the age of 18. Please note, at least two administrators are required to act if the beneficiaries are minors so an application may need to be made to the court appointing a second person.

If it is not appropriate for the person under Rule 22 to apply, then an application can be made to the court to overrule Rule 22 as long as evidence can be provided as to why it is not appropriate for that person to act and who would be more suitable instead.

If you aren’t sure whether you need a Grant of Representation, or who would be the person entitled to apply for this, then get in touch with our Probate team on 0800 088 6004. We are all the help you need!

Olivia Sullivan

Posted:

Olivia Sullivan

Trainee Solicitor

Olivia is a Paralegal in the Private Client team at our Northampton office. She assists the team on a variety of matters including Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Estates.