The affairs of a recently deceased person’s estate can take a long time to resolve. There are many different requirements needed for the matters to be dealt with lawfully and fairly. When someone dies solicitors are required to apply for various different grants to make sure the matters are dealt with in a way that is within the boundaries of the law.

If there is a will, a grant of probate is applied for and things are settled relatively easy. If there is no known will when someone dies they are said to be dying intestate. Intestate requires the further application for a letters of administration grant (the court issued document that allows for administrators to administrate the deceased person’s estate) instead of the normal grant of probate (the document that is sometimes needed for the executors to administer the estate) that is required when someone dies with a known will.

The person that wins the letters of administration grant is deemed the administrator and is the person who is given the legal right to deal with the affairs of the deceased. The grant is normally given to the closest relative of the person who died. If there is more than person who has equal right to this role then the set order of priority is referenced for the final decision. The executors and administrators are known as personal representatives (PRs). Often there can be more than one personal representative and so confusion can arise from disagreements towards the affairs of the deceased person.

The grants of either probate or the letters of administration are known as grants of representation and these are only needed when the deceased person’s estate is worth more than £5,000 and is not co-owned with someone. This means that the person dying cannot enter into intestate if they qualify for either of these clauses.

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