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Your FAQ's: Letters of Administration

Letters of administration signifies the legal process that enables somebody to gain access to the possessions of a deceased upon their death. Letters of administration are needed legally and therefore access cannot be granted to the estate and possessions of the deceased person without the application for letters of administration being executed.

Author: Robert Deans
Date: Sep 23, 2011 - 1:51:33 PM

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1. Just what are letters of administration?

Letters of administration refers to the legal process that enables somebody to access the possessions of a deceased after their death. It is required by law that letters of administration are acquired. Without the grant of letters of administration, the deceased's assets can't be accessed.

2. When are letters of administration mandatory?

Letters of administration are needed only if the departed individual has not made a last will and testimony which can be alluded to by both the next of kin and probate solicitors. If the deceased had made a last will and testimony, the deceased's executors need to make an application for probate rather than letters of administration. It is under no circumstances necessary to submit an application for both probate and letters of administration, this is just an alternative route if the will is not available. This might be because a will wasn't ever written, or because it is lost.

3. Who can submit an application for letters of administration?

In most cases it is the next of kin that will be issued the job of obtaining letters of administration. Should this not be feasible, a close relative can also apply. If that is still out of the question, then a more faraway relative or even a companion may submit an application for letters of administration. However, detailed rules apply now and again. For instance if the beneficiary is a child the law states that more than one individual must fulfil this role. Those that apply are known as 'administrators'.

4. Who should manage the probate process?

Although the probate process is normally handled by the administrator that is applying for the letters of administration he or she might choose to seek legal guidance during the process. This legal assistance can provide direction and council during the entire probate process which has the capabilities to be exceptionally demanding on the administrator. Probate solicitors ought to have much experience in controlling comparable cases and will understand fully the complex details of the probate process. Moreover, probate solicitors can merely alleviate the administrator of a few of the strains and stresses associated with managing the estate of a deceased loved one.

5. Will all cases require an application for letters of administration?

No. The probate process isn't necessary when the assets of the departed person total less than 5,000 and will not contain land, property or shares. Furthermore, if every one of the deceased's assets are jointly owned with evidence, probate isn't needed. Information on this subject should be sought from trustworthy probate solicitors.

This post was written by R. Deans on behalf of the Wills and Probate Service, expert probate solicitors who can provide letters of administration. For more info on letters of administration and probate solicitors please visit

View all articles by Robert Deans

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