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Who can administer the estate?
It is essential, before administering an estate, to check who has the authority to do so. Most people assume that the next of kin will be the person to administer the estate; however, it will be the Executor or Executors who will carry out the deceased’s instructions.
If the deceased dies without a Will they have died ‘Intestate’ and the estate will be distributed following the Law of ‘Intestacy’. This law will determine who becomes Administrator of your estate.
Administrators/Executors need to make sure they are reporting to both the HMRC and the beneficiaries. This process can be very time consuming and frightening. Here are some things to consider:
Administrators/Executors can seek professional advice if it is needed. This should only be done if they feel the need for help or it is convenient for them. Any fee’s incurred from taking the professional advice can be paid out of the estate subject to the terms of the Will. If the administrator/executor comes across one of the following and he/she doesn’t know what to do, that’s when professional help should be sought:
Executors have authority to deal with the estate from the date of death. However, to prove they have this authority they need the ‘Grant of Representation’ in England and wales or in Scotland a ‘Confirmation’. Administrators have authority from the ‘date of grant of representation’ in England and wales or ‘confirmation’ in Scotland.
There are three main types of ‘Grant of Representation’ in England and Wales. They are as follows:
1. Grant of Probate - These are issued if the appointed executors on the Will are administering the estate
2. Grant of letters of administration with the Will annexed - These are issued if deceased left a valid Will but did not appoint a valid administrator. If the administrators are unwilling or unable to act then this act will also be issued.
3. Grant of letters of administration - These are issued if no Will was made.