Person who has died leaves a will
If the person who has died leaves a will, it will usually name one or more people to act as the executors of the will.
If you are named as an executor of a will you may need to apply for a grant of probate.
A grant of probate is an official document which the executors may need to administer the estate. It is issued by a section of the court known as the probate registry.
If there is no will (known as dying intestate) the process is more complicated. An application for a grant of letters of administration (an official document, issued by the court, which allows administrators to administer the estate) will need to be made.
The person to whom letters of administration is granted is known as the administrator. The administrator is the person who has the legal right to deal with the affairs of the person who has died, and is determined by a set order of priority.
The administrator will usually be a close relative of the person who has died, if there is one. There may be more than one person who has an equal right to do this. Your solicitor will be able to provide you with information on the set order of priority.
If there is more than one personal representative they must work together to decide matters between them. Disagreements between personal representatives can cause expensive delays.
Grants of representation
This includes grants of probate and grants of letters of administration. Often people just refer to probate even if there is no will.
When a grant of representation is needed
A grant of representation is not always needed. However, some financial organisations may require a grant before giving you access even to a small amount of money. Usually, a grant of representation will be needed when the person who has died left stocks or shares or house or land or a certain insurance. You can ask a lawyer to apply for the grant of representation on your behalf.
Responsible of personal representatives
Personal representatives are responsible for making sure that the estate is administered correctly. If there is a will, the personal representative must make sure that the wishes of the person who has died, as set out in their will, are followed.
Personal representatives are also responsible for finding out if the tax(lawyer explain these) is due as a result of a person’s death. If it is, the personal representative has to make sure that it is paid.