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The person who is responsible for administering the estate is called a Personal Representative. The term Personal Representative can either refer to an Executor or an Administrator. If the deceased left a Will appointing someone to administer their estate they are called an Executor. If there is no valid Will, or if the Will does not name an Executor, then the Personal Representative is called an Administrator.
The Personal Representative will usually need a formal legal document called a ‘Grant of Representation’ to confirm that they have the legal authority to deal with the assets of the deceased person. The term Grant of Representation is used to refer either to a ‘Grant of Probate’ which is issued to the Executors of a Will, or a ‘Grant of Letters of Administration’ when issued to an Administrator.
A Grant will enable a Personal Representative to access the deceased’s bank accounts, investments and other assets in order to pay their debts, Inheritance Tax and distribute the estate.
There are certain circumstances when a Grant may not be necessary for instance in relation to joint property and low value estates. Sampson Solicitors are able to advise you as to whether a Grant is required.
When a person dies without leaving a valid Will they are said to have died ‘Intestate’. In these circumstances the Rules of Intestacy will apply and these determine who will act as Administer of the estate and who will benefit from the deceased’s estate.
When identifying Administrators and beneficiaries, care and diligence is required to avoid mistakes being made. This is where the assistance of our experienced solicitors can be invaluable