Letters Of Administration
If a close relative has died without leaving a Will a Grant of Letters of Administration may be required before banks, Building Societies and other financial organisations will hand over the deceased’s assets.
This web page will provide you with a brief overview of the application process to become an administrator, and the rights and responsibilities you will have therein.
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What Is A Grant Of Letters Of Administration?
There are two main types of letters of administration:
- Grant of Letters of Administration – Letters of Administration are granted when the deceased died without a Will, and the Grant acts as the authority for the administrator to act.
- Grant of Letters of Administration with Will – This Grant of Representation is appropriate where the deceased has made a Will but has either failed to appoint an executor or all the executors named in the Will have died or are unable to act.
What Is An Administrator?
The person who administers the estate is called the administrator and their role is very similar to that of the executor.
When Is A Grant Of Letter Of Administration Needed?
Typically, a Grant of Letters of Administration need only be obtained if the value of the Estate exceeds £5,000, as banks and other financial organisations will often allow accounts to be closed if they contain a small sum of money. However, each financial institution sets its own limits so if you have to close a bank account you should ask them if they will require a Letter of Administration.
Who Can Apply?
The rules about who can become an administrator are very strict. If there is no valid Will, the next-of-kin are eligible to apply in the following order of priority:
- Spouse/Civil Partner of deceased;
- Children of deceased;
- Grandchildren of deceased;
- Parent of deceased;
- Brother/Sister of deceased;
- Nephew or Niece of deceased;
- Any other relative.
It is important to note that unmarried couples or same-sex partners who have not registered a civil partnership will not usually be able to act as administrators unless they have been expressly appointed in a Will.
If there is a valid Will, an application can be made for Letters of Administration with the Will annexed, providing that:
- The deceased left all of their estate to you in the Will, and
- The executors have not been appointed, or are unable/unwilling to act.
How Do I Apply?
To obtain a Grant of Letters of Administration, the Court will normally require:-
- The Statement or Oath or PA1 application form, completed and signed by the Personal Representatives.
- An Inland Revenue Account (IHT 205 or 400).
- A receipted invoice from the Inland Revenue that any Inheritance Tax has been paid.
- Sometimes the will, if it is available.
There are various forms to complete, some of which are quite lengthy to obtain a Grant of Letters of Administration. If a Personal Representative applies without using a Solicitor, they will need to obtain all the appropriate forms and then fully and accurately complete them.
Once the Court is satisfied that the Grant application is all in order, it will issue an official Grant of Letters of Administration along with a number of sealed copies. Provided that there are no complications, the process to obtain Letters of Administration can be completed within 3-5 weeks. At Seatons, we can sort this out for you from start to finish.
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