In the United Kingdom, when an individual passes away without leaving a valid will, their estate is considered intestate. In such cases, the process of administering the deceased person’s estate is governed by specific legal procedures. One crucial aspect of this process is the grant of Letters of Administration. Letters of Administration are legal documents issued by the Probate Registry or Court, empowering an individual (usually a close relative or beneficiary) to manage and distribute the deceased person’s estate in the absence of a will. The appointed individual is referred to as the administrator.
Eligibility and Application
The right to apply for Letters of Administration is typically granted to the deceased’s next of kin, following a predetermined order of priority. This often starts with the surviving spouse, followed by children and other close relatives. The application process involves submitting relevant documents, including details about the deceased’s assets and liabilities.
The Probate Registry or Court reviews the application to ensure its validity. Once satisfied, they issue the Letters of Administration. This legal document is the administrator’s proof of authority to manage the estate, access bank accounts, and distribute assets according to intestacy laws.
Distribution of Assets
The administrator is responsible for identifying, valuing, and distributing the deceased person’s assets among the rightful heirs according to the laws of intestacy. This process may involve settling outstanding debts and taxes before distributing the remaining estate.
The Grant of letters of administration intestate is a crucial step in the intestate succession process in the UK, providing a legal framework for the orderly distribution of an individual’s estate in the absence of a valid will. It ensures that the deceased person’s assets are handled responsibly and distributed in accordance with the law.