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0800 612 6105

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0203 985 9554

Letter of Administration

In some circumstances, instead of probate, a letter of administration will be required in order to deal properly with an estate. If a letter of administration is required instead of probate, then rather than an executor, there will be an administrator to act in the interests of the estate, and the letter is their way of applying to carry out the task.

There are specific situations in which a letter of administration will be necessary, and when probate cannot be granted. This is when: a will has not been made or cannot be located; the will is found to be invalid; an executor has not been named within the will; the executor who is named is unwilling or unable to take on the responsibility.

Not just anyone can apply to be administrator of an estate, however. It is only possible to apply to be administrator if the testator left their entire estate to you, or if, as above, there is no named executor, or the executor does not wish to carry out the tasks required of them, and this is if the will is found to be valid.

If the will is not valid, is not found, or was never made, then the circumstances in which you can apply to be administrator, and request a letter of administration, change. There is an order of priority and preference when it comes to who can apply. This is: the spouse or civil partner of the deceased; a child of the deceased; a grandchild of the deceased; the parent of the deceased; a sibling of the deceased; a niece or nephew of the deceased; another relative, such as a cousin. This is much like the intestacy rules.

Is it unlikely that an unmarried partner who has not been named as an executor will be able to act as an administrator for the testator’s estate.

Although probate or a letter of administration is always required if an estate includes property, there are circumstances when neither is needed in order to divide the estate between beneficiaries. These circumstances are: if there is no property, and no assets included within the estate (ie it is made up of cash and possessions); if the property that is included is actually owned by a join tenant; if the testator’s money is in a joint bank account; if the estate is insolvent; if life insurance policies are to be paid.

If you are in any doubt as to whether a letter of administration is required, or how to apply for one, then simply contact us. We are here to help.

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