If an individual dies without a Will, or the Will is found to be invalid, or no executors are named, their estate will fall into intestacy. In these circumstances, a next of kin can apply to court for grant of Letters of Administration. The person to whom the court grants Letters of Administration is known as the administrator. Eligible relatives to serve as administrator follow a priority order:
- the married or civil partner of the deceased;
- a child of the deceased;
- grandchild of deceased;
- parent of the deceased;
- brother or sister of deceased;
- nephew or niece of deceased; and
- any other relative.
To be finally approved for probate, the probate registry requires an interview to assess the fitness of the nominated executor.
Probate is a legal document that allows the deceased’s assets to be released to one or more people who have the legal authority to act and administer the estate. It proves to the asset holders that they are releasing the assets to the correct and authorised people.
When Probate is required the assets of the estate are essentially ‘frozen’ to safeguard them against an ‘incorrect distribution’ to the wrong people. This means that without the Grant of Probate a property cannot be sold and the deceased’s bank accounts and other financial assets cannot be accessed.
A common misconception around Probate is that it is not required if the deceased made a Will. If there is a valid Will it is called a ‘Grant of Probate’ and if there is no valid Will (intestacy) it is called ‘Letters of Administration’.
- Provide you with a dedicated Case Manager
- Check the validity of the Will or apply the Rules of Intestacy if there is no Will
- Complete the Probate application form
- Prepare the Oath required to be sworn by the Executors and Administrators
- Complete the Inheritance Tax forms (whether tax is due or not)
- Calculate any Inheritance Tax liability
- Apply for the Grant of Probate
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