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How to Apply For Letters of Administration When Someone Dies Intestate

April 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 192

When someone dies intestate, meaning they did not leave a will, it can be worrying for those who are left behind, particularly if they have no idea on how to begin dealing with the estate. This guide explains how to apply for Letters of Administration when a loved one dies intestate, and how to deal with their financial affairs.

What Are Letters of Administration?

If someone makes a will, the executor applies for probate. Because there is no will when someone dies intestate and no executor, the administrator of the will applies for a Grant of Letters of Administration, instead of Applying for a Grant for Probate. Once the grant has been approved the administrator receives letters to give to the deceased's financial institutions, giving permission for the administrator to have access to the deceased's finances so that they can deal with the estate.

Who Is The Legal Administrator and How Do They Apply?

The person who is legally entitled to administrate the deceased's will depends upon what surviving relatives the deceased has left behind. If this responsibility falls upon children under the age of 18, two people will be required to apply for grants of administration.

The administrator of the will is usually appointed in the following order, depending on what relatives have survived the deceased:

1) Civil Partner or Spouse - excluding Common Law Partner,

2) Children,

3) Sons or Daughters of the Deceased's Children,

4) Parents, Brothers and Sisters,

5) Grandparents,

6) Aunts or Uncles - but not their spouses.

You apply in exactly the same way that you would apply for probate, by sending off a PA1 probate form and inheritance tax form to H M Courts and Tribunal Service. You will also need to send a cheque for £105 and you will be charged an additional £1 for each document needed to give to each financial institution.

Is It a Complicated Process?

Even when they die intestate, administering a deceased's person's will doesn't always have to be complicated, especially if their finances are straightforward, or they have only left a small sum. But it can be unpleasant, particularly when you are still grieving the death of a loved one.

One of the most difficult parts of administering an estate when no will has been left is family disagreements, particularly if there is an existing common law wife, or if some of the benefactors of the will feel that they are entitled to more than the law states.

Also, if the deceased's financial affairs are not straight-forward, the process can be complicated and drawn out. When you are administering their estate, you have to chase up all money owing to the deceased, pay bills that they owed, deal with financial institutions and HM Revenue and Customs. Then you have to distribute the estate according to the law.

What If You Don't Want to Administrate the Estate?

Many people don't want to administrate the estate of a loved one themselves, and this is understandable, particularly when you are grieving the loss of the deceased. You can appoint a legal representative or solicitor to apply for letters of administration on your behalf, and deal with the deceased's finances.

Because solicitors fees can quickly mount up and spiral out of control, especially when the deceased's financial affairs are complicated, many people choose to use a fixed fee administration service. This can be a wise choice if you are worried about huge legal costs, as they deal with everything for you, from applying for a grant of letters of administration, to distributing the estate. A fixed fee probate/administration service can take a huge weight from your shoulders, as they do everything for you and you know exactly what you will be paying, so you don't have to worry that your loved ones assets will be eaten up by a massive legal fee.

This article was written by probate expert; Tony Crocker+ director at IWC Estate Planning and Management Ltd.

Tony Crocker is Director of IWC Estate Planning & Management Ltd. With over 15 years' experience, he is knowledgeable and proficient in all matters regarding Probate, Letters of Administration, Will writing, Estate Planning and Inheritance tax avoidance.

IWC Estate Planning & Management Ltd. are a specialist Will Writing and Probate Company offering nationwide coverage. The company provides fixed fee probate services; rates are agreed with clients in advance. Probate fees are based on the work that has to be carried out, rather than the estate value or at an hourly rate.

IWC are regulated by the Society of Will Writers and Estate Planning Practitioners and registered at Companies House. Their head office is located in Croydon, Surrey, with satellite office coverage across most of England. Follow us on Twitter @IWCLtd

Source: EzineArticles
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