Administration of Estates – What Happens When There Is No Executer
When a person passes away, normally the wishes in their will are carried out by their chosen executor. This includes the possible division of an estate and the associated assets, as well and financial commitments. The executor is often a close family member, such as partner, a child of age, or siblings. Any individual, or multiple individuals, can be chosen to fulfil this role as long as they are over the age of 18.
If a person passes away without a will, then the Administration of Estates Act of 1925 is used to determine what will happen to the estate of the deceased party. In place of the executor, one, or multiple administers will be used to take on the role of an administrator of the estate and assets.
Becoming an Administrator
An administrator is normally required when there is no will. However, a similar process can occur if there is a will but no stipulated executor or the chosen executor is unable or refuses to perform their duties.
In any instance, a beneficiary of the will or an entitled party, will be able to apply to become an administrator of the estate. Normally this role will fall to a surviving spouse, or in the absence of a spouse, the next of kin will be given preference.
To become a legal administrator, the probate registry or the probate division of the High Court of Justice, must provide the party with a grant of administration.
This is a legal process, and in the majority of cases, anyone wishing to become the administrator of an estate, must hire a top solicitor in the UK. If the application is successful, then the individual will be awarded a letter of administration.
What Does the Administrator of an Estate Do?
For the most part, an administrator of an estate will perform the same roles as an executor would, but in the absence of a will, the estate and assets of the deceased party will be divided in accordance to the Administration of Estates Act of 1925.
The administrator will have a number of responsibilities to fulfil, including:
- The payment of any debts or expense claims owed by the deceased party
- The collection of any assets owned by the deceased party
- The distribution of the assets and estates to those entitled to inherit
The administrator of the estate is not automatically entitled to any assets of the deceased party, despite acting as the estate administrator. The estate will have to follow the legal course of inheritance, where the rules of intestacy apply.
Who Inherits an Estate with No Will?
The primary beneficiary of an estate where there is no will, will be the spouse/civil partner of the deceased party. For most estates, a spouse will normally inherit everything up until the value of £250,000, at which point, they will inherit half of the remaining assets if the deceased party has any children.
After the first £250,000, children of the deceased party will be entitled to receive half of the estate. If grandchildren or great-grandchildren outlive their parents, then they will be entitled to their share of inheritance, in England and Wales.
Avoiding the Administration of Estates
The best way to avoid your will being executed by an administrator, is to be prepared and create a valid will. A valid will means that your wishes will be carried out by the executor/s of your choice, and you’ll be able to stipulate how your estate will be divided upon your death – completely avoiding problems with intestacy.
Writing a will protects your loved ones from high inheritance tax, problems with estate division, and defines exactly who you want to inherit your estate. Beginning the draft of your will can be very straightforward with the help of a top solicitor, and will likely contain:
- A list of your assets
- Provision for dependants
- An executer or executers
- A list of individuals who will benefit from your will
If you’re ready to start drafting your will, you want help with the process for becoming an administrator, or you have questions about inheritance, then please don’t hesitate to contact a Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors in London.