What is the difference between a Grant of Probate and Letters of Administration?
The term ‘Probate’ relates to the legal process that has to be followed when someone dies. In a will, there will be one or more individuals labelled as ‘executors’, meaning they have been chosen by the creator of the will to administer his/hers estate on passing. It will then be the executor, or one thereof, that applies for the legal document known as a Grant of Probate, which is the legal document which allows them to administer the estate.
However, if someone dies intestate (without a will), the person handling a deceased persons affairs is called an ‘administrator’, and they apply under the Intestacy Rules for Grant of Letters of Administration. You have to be a relative entitled at law to take out a Grant, and if no relatives are willing to, then the Crown steps in and the Treasury Solicitor takes out the Grant.
The Intestacy Rules outline which relatives are entitled to take out this Grant, as follows:
- Spouse or registered civil partner (common law partners not entitled)
- Children or their issue
- Brothers and sisters of the whole blood or their issue.
- Brothers and sisters of the half blood or their issue.
- Aunts and Uncles of the whole blood or their issue.
- Aunts and Uncles of the half blood or their issue.
- The Crown
In whole, the difference between a Grant of Probate and a Grant of Letters of Administration, is that a Grant of Probate applies when someone passed with a will in place, however Letters of Administration applies when someone dies intestate, meaning without a will.