The main difference between the two grants is that the 'Grant of Probate' applies to a situation where there is a will that specifically appoints executors whereas a Grant of 'Letters of Administration' applies to the situations where there is no will or where a will is silent as to the appointment of an executor. An administrators duty and an executors duty are both very similar once a grant has been issued, however prior to issue the executor derives his authority from the will itself and can act immediately following death but an administrator must wait until the 'Grant of letters of Administration' has been issued and sealed by the Probate Registry, which is a division of the UK High Court of Justice. This means that an administrators duty and authority starts a considerable period after death however it is in the adminstrators interests to do all they can to preserve the estate as the only people likely to obtain a grant are beneficiarries of the estate.

The only people who can apply for Letters of a Grant of Administration are those relatives who, in accordance with intestacy law, may inherit the assets. If there are no living relatives then the entire estate will pass to the Crown.A Grant of Letters of Administration and a Grant of Probate are both issued by the Probate Registry which is part of the High Court of Justice, upon application by the proposed executor or administrator. In regards to an executors duty, the appointed person must follow the testators wishes outlined in the will and in the case of an administrators duty, the appointed person must follow the law in regards to the intestacy rules and distribute assets accordingly.

The administrator or executor possesses the power to collect in and distribute the deceased’s assets. Most private individuals are not familiar with probate law and have little knowledge of an executors duty or an administrators duty and in most cases, they will appoint a solicitor to perform those duties on their behalf.

Application Process

Matters of probate law can quickly become complex. Applying to the Registry can be a lengthy and involved process. The application requires a thorough assessment of the deceased’s property which includes accounting for the deceased’s debts and liabilities. It also entails a valuation of the deceased assets which covers bank accounts, shares, personal property and real property. An executors duty or an administrators duty carries with it substantial legal responsibly.

Once this initial assessment has been completed, an application for a grant must be submitted to the Registry, along with an accounting of the assets and liabilities which is then considered by the Capital Taxes Office. The next step is to swear an affidavit detailing the deceased, the nature of the death and the net value of the estate. The grant is issued once the Registry considers and approves the application. Some time thereafter, the Capital Taxes Office will also consider the executor’s account. At that point, additional information may be requested about the deceased’s assets. Taxes are payable if the net value of the deceased’s estate exceeds current limits.

Probate Solicitors Legal Advice

Our wills and probate solicitors will provide you with initial legal advice at no cost relating to executors or administrators duty. Our lawyers deal with both contested cases and non-contested cases and give advice where the validity of the will is in question or a dependant of the deceased is bringing an action for support. We also advise on whether the document which purports to be a valid will has been properly executed in accordance with the law. To receive legal advice on these matters just call our helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices.