Wills & Probate | What Is An Administrator Of An Estate?
Updated: Jul 31
When someone passes away without leaving a Will, this is known as passing away intestate.
As an Executor (the person who deals with the estate) has not been appointed as there in no Will, an Administrator must be appointed. There are rules which outline who should be the Administrator of the estate. The rules list an order of priority to handle the role of an Administrator.
The Administrator must then apply for Letters of Administration. This document gives the Administrator permission to attend to the administration of the deceased’s estate.
The administration of the estate includes (but is not limited to) handling and closing bank accounts, and property, paying debts, submitting the inheritance tax (IHT) forms to HMRC, and distributing the estate in accordance with the intestacy rules.
The Administrator needs to understand who inherits assets under the rules of intestacy and this is sometimes not as straightforward as some may think.
It is important for the Administrator to know, not only which family member(s) inherits, but also who is owed money by the estate. If the Administrator does not locate beneficiaries or creditors, the Administrator may be liable and a claim can be made.
There are ways in which to protect the Administrator, including putting a statutory advertisement in place, which gives notice to third parties that the deceased has passed away and to give notice of any claim.
Only after all of the debts are settled, can the Administrator then distribute the estate to the beneficiaries as per the rules of intestacy.
The process of dealing with an estate can be complicated, stressful and timely. Make sure you take legal advice as, especially under such stress and upset following a death, mistakes can be made and can put you, as an Administrator, in a difficult position, only making the situation worse.
Emma Aslett Penn Chambers Solicitors 0207 183 4595 The information provided in this article is not intended to constitute professional advice and you should take full and comprehensive legal, accountancy or financial advice as appropriate on your individual circumstances by a fully qualified Solicitor, Accountant or Financial Advisor/Mortgage Broker before you embark on any course of action.