If the deceased person left no will then they are considered to have died intestate. Since no instructions were left about the administration of the estate, a different procedure has to be undertaken. An application will need to be made for Letters of Administration rather than the usual Grant of Probate. Rule 22 of the Non-Contentious Probate Rules (1987) sets out who is entitled to apply for Letters of Administration, and in which order:
- Spouse or civil partner (as long as they survive the deceased by 28 days). In most cases a second Administrator will need to apply, especially if there is property or money to be held in trust for children. The second person should be appointed from the next category.
- Children (or grandchildren if the children have predeceased). A guardian may apply on behalf of a child or grandchild aged under 18, provided they have parental responsibility.
- Parents of the deceased.
- Siblings of the deceased.
- Half-siblings of the deceased.
- Grandparents of the deceased.
- Uncles or aunts of the deceased.
- The Crown if there is no-one from categories 1-7.
There is a slightly different procedure to follow if someone has died without leaving a will. A different Oath needs to be prepared, and time allowed for tracing relatives, so it may take longer to process the application. If you have any queries or need advice on dealing with an intestate estate, please book in for a free 30 minute consultation and we can work out the best way to take things forward.