Probate & Administration of Estates: an awesome explanation

November 25, 2015

Carrying on with our rather morbid, yet very necessary, theme, today we’re looking at probate and administration of estates.

What is administration of estates?

Unless you leave this world with no money and not a single thing to your name, there’s going to be some ‘stuff’ that someone, often a family member, is going to have to deal with. The fancy term for this is ‘administering the estate’.

If you’ve left a will, it will usually name one or more people to act as the executors of the will – these are the chaps that will be responsible for administering your estate.

And what is probate?

If you’re 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.

What if there’s no will?

If there is no will 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. A solicitor will be able to provide you with information on the set order of priority.

How to apply for a grant of probate or grant of letters of administration

You can apply for a grant in person at your local district probate registry. Or you can make life easy on yourself and ask a friendly solicitor to make the application on your behalf. We recommend Ann-Marie Matthews at Barker Gotelee Solicitors. She really knows her stuff and can help you with all sorts of estate planning things. She’ll be extra nice if you mention us. Call her on 01473 350574 or email


This article is for general use only and is not intended to address your particular requirements. It should not be relied upon in its entirety and shall not be deemed to be or constitute advice.

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