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What is administration of estates?

When a loved one passes away, their estates need to be dealt with by the family members who are left behind. The term 'administration of estates' relates to paying any debts, and gathering and distributing the assets of a loved one who has passed away.

What is Probate?

The term 'Probate' relates to the process of the named Executors carrying out the details contained in a deceased individual's Will. If there is a Will and you have the original, you will be able to apply for the Grant of Probate.

The Executors of the Will are the people who have been named as being responsible for administering the estate.

The Beneficiaries are the people who have been named in the Will as having been left an asset or possession. The Will also clarifies how the estate will be distributed.

How does Probate work?

In order to deal with the estate of a deceased individual, an Executor first needs to ascertain how much money is due to be paid to the estate and how much is due to be paid out of the estate.

Once the figures for all assets and liabilities are identified, tax forms have to be submitted, along with the application for Grant of Probate to the Probate Registry.

Once the Grant of Probate has been sent to the Executors from the Probate Registry, the Executors can then collect all money due to the estate, and can then distribute this money as per the terms of the Will.

Are there situations where Probate is not needed?

There are some instances where it may not be necessary to apply for the Grant of Probate. This includes:

  • The person who has passed away had assets valued at under £5000. These assets can usually be transferred without Grant of Probate.
  • The person who has passed away held joint assets with another individual who is still alive. This could include a joint bank account, shares or joint property. In this instance the assets will automatically pass to the surviving joint owner.

Letters of administration

Sometimes an individual who wishes to administer the estate of someone who has passed away will need to apply for letters of administration rather than Grant of Probate.

Letters of administration are required if:

  • The Will has no named Executors or is not valid
  • There is no Will
  • The named Executors cannot or will not administer the Will

If the deceased did not make a Will, the estate is administered according to a set of rules known as Intestacy Rules. Married or Civil partners and some close relatives can inherit under these rules.

Similarly, if there is a Will but it is not valid, the Rules of Intestacy will dictate how the estate is administered rather than according to the wishes of the deceased expressed in the Will.

To discuss your options and requirements for probate and the administration of estates, we invite you to call us now on 0300 303 3629 or alternatively you can send us an enquiry using our contact form.  


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