uk probate solicitors

What are Letters of Administration?

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A Grant of Letters of Administration gives authority for up to four administrators to deal with the assets of a deceased person who has not left a will appointing executors. The administrator's powers are derived from the Grant of Letters of Administration as opposed to an executor who derives power directly from the will at the time of death. A potential administrator should not intermeddle with the estate until the issue of the Grant of Letters of Administration following application to the Probate Office which deals with matters on behalf of the Probate Registry of the High Court of Justice. A proposed administrator may however consider that securing assets prior to the issue of the grant is important especially if the administrator is also likely to be one of the estates beneficiaries. An administrator or proposed administrator is personally liable to the beneficiaries. A Grant of Letters of Administration is appropriate if there is no valid will or if there is a valid will which does not specifically appoint at least one executor. The person who applies for a Grant of Letters of Administration is usually one of the potential beneficiaries under either the will or the Intestacy Rules.

Administrators Duties

An administrators powers under a Grant of Letters of Administration are extremely similar to an executors powers under a Grant of Probate. The administrator's role is one of responsibility to the beneficiaries which may require professional advice and assistance from a specialist solicitor. The main duties of an administrator are as follows :-

    The administrator should secure all assets and where possible should take possession.

    The administrator should take out insurance to protect the value of any relevant assets.

    The administrator should pay all of the estates liabilities in order of priority including taxes.

    The administrator should thereafter distribute the estate in accordance with the deceased wishes as set out in the will or where there is no will in accordance with the Intestacy Rules both of which may involve liquidation of some or all assets by way of sale.

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